COP-27 safeguarded interest of fossil fuel rich nations: Civil society

01 Jan 2023

Fossil fuel giants suppressed human rights and justice principles in the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) that took place in Egypt in November this year, said civil society organisations.


"Instead of reaching a commitment for deeper emission cut in line with the 1.5 Celsius Goal, the COP made a fortune for fossil fuels, natural gases in particular, and safeguarded the interests of the fossil fuel rich economies," said Md Shamsuddoha, chief executive of the Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD), at a round table discussion Thursday.


The CPRD and other allied civil society organisations organised the programme titled "Climate Diplomacy at COP27: Whether shines are overshadowed by corporate interest" at Azimur Rahman Conference Hall at the Daily Star Center.


The discussion intended to develop a critical understanding of the outcomes of COP27 and provide a strategic overview of how the interest of fossil fuel giants patronised by a few countries dominated human rights and justice principles in climate negotiation.


CPRD Chief Executive Md Shamsuddoha said the developed countries are yet to implement their duties and responsibilities for staving off climate change.


"We raised our voice on behalf of civil society organisations at the COP27, demanding that an official loss and damage mechanism for compensating the climate-induced losses and damages potentially affecting different regions and countries be formed," he said.


The civil society organisations also called for boosting up the low flow of climate financing which has stemmed from the urgency for reducing the ever-increasing adaptation gap, he said.


Dr Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, deputy managing director of the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation said, "We know that the UN process is slow but there is no alternative. Rather, we have to think about ways to pace it out. We have to be careful about not only the quantity but also the quality of the loss and damage financing.


"The hope with which we started the COPs has not been fully materialised yet and it is frustrating to some extent. However, we cannot come out of this framework because there is no other alternative," said Saber Hossain Chowdhury, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).


"We have to stay within the process and try to reflect our demands in the decisions of the COP. Besides the global initiatives to combat climate change, we also have to take into account the internal situations of our country," he said.


He further said, "We cannot talk about nature-based solutions at global platforms while brickfields and tanneries keep polluting our country's environment. It would be a double standard to do so. If we do not consider a holistic approach the situation will not change.


"In Bangladesh there are two different ministries for disaster management and climate change issues. We know that there is a huge overlap between the work scopes of these two ministries and maintaining coordination between these two ministries is hard. It would be better if climate change and disaster-related issues are handled by a ministry," he added.


Dharitri Kumar Sarkar, deputy secretary of MoEFCC, said, "In Bangladesh, most attention has to be paid to adaptation due to its geographical position. Recently, Bangladesh has achieved some remarkable progress in the early warning system and we hope that in the future there will be more achievement in terms of early warning alongside adaptation."