Bangladesh PM lectures India and China on climate change

12:34pm GMT: Sheikh Hasina’s speech at the Climate Vulnerable Forum this morning is worth a look as a rare example of a national leader (and/or speech-writer) who really gets it on climate change.

In less than three pages, she connects the spiralling economic cost of global warming with the failure of international leadership since the 1992 Earth Summit. In deploring the injustice meted out to countries like Bangladesh, the PM said:

We see extreme reluctance on part of major emitters. Absence of a convergence on obligatory and voluntary mitigation commitment is already casting shadow over the Kyoto Protocol. This may wreck the international climate regime and place our countries in peril.

Watch out for this phrase “major emitters”. It invariably indicates a swipe at countries like China and India of which this is a five-star example.

Warming to this theme, Sheikh Hasina proposed an overhaul of criteria for allocation of climate funds which “seem to favor countries that have greater capacity.”

She encouraged the vulnerable countries to make more noise on other subjects that the UN talks prefer to avoid – such as a framework for dealing with climate refugees and the unacceptable relabelling of development aid as climate finance.

8:13pm GMT: Let’s make a guess at what the prime minister of Bangladesh had mind at the Climate Vulnerable Forum when she grumbled that climate finance and technology programs “seem to favor countries that have greater capacity.”

How about coal-fired power stations in neighbouring India? There are no fewer than 32 such applications approved or pending for award of carbon credits by the Clean Development Mechanism. The potential rewards can be measured in billions of dollars.

The watchdog NGO, CDM Watch, together with the Sierra Club in the US, wants the Durban conference to kick coal out of the CDM once and for all.

They argue that the more efficient supercritical technology would be adopted anyway by India (and other countries). Last week they were backed up in a report by the CDM Executive’s own technical advisory panel.

The relevant CDM Board meeting takes place through next week.


this post was first published by OneWorld UK