At a conference last friday in London titled,” Equity without justice” speakers underlined the importance of equity in climate change as the means of getting justice for the victims of it in the developing world.
During the conference l had the pleasure of chairing the first session in the afternoon at the Brady Centre hosted by some key players amongst them NGOs like Bond (DEG Bangladesh), Campaign for Sustainable & Rural Livelihoods ( CSRL ) Bangladesh and EU Action Group on Climate Change in Bangladesh (EUAGCCB).
The session began with Dr Ahsan Uddin Ahmed giving us his paper Equity without Justice London as a member of the IPCC and then we had responses from our other panelists. He emphasised that the ambition for emission reduction in the Kyoto Protocol (KP) must be increased during its second commitment period based on scientific urgency like the Fifth IPCC assessment report, so as the coveted goal of achieving 1.5 C by 2100 becomes a reality.
Phil Bloomer, Campaign and Policy Director of Oxfam, highlighting the importance of equity said, “Rich people, who are the responsible for climate change, are adapting quickly to the climate change but the victims are becoming poorest of the poor.” Phil further added, “Oxfam is advocating for establishing the equity to ensure justice.”
Saleemul Huq, an eminent expert from IIED gave us a breakdown of the many blocks of interest groups between the countries that exist now in the post-Durban negotiations and that he was spending alot of time building the negotiating capacity amongst the most vulnerable countries. He also added how every Bangladeshi from the PM to the rickshaw puller can now talk about Climate Change in Dhaka ! I can confirm that he’s right about that.
Peter Clusters responded by informing the meeting that Canada has now pulled out of the KP followed by Russia & Japan in its final year, becoming the new devil of the piece. While North American countries have set up the Climate Change Coalition with surprisingly Bangladesh as a member. He aloud wondered what the inducement was for Bangladesh.
I ended the session by suggesting that non-state actors that could be useful to such campaigns are city states who should be permitted to become Conference of the Parties (COP). With 50 per cent of humanity now living in cities and towns where 75 per cent of all CO2 emissions are made, it seems approproiate that such city states should be able to And lets not forget the probashi, thats oversea Bangladeshis living aboard who are also know as non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs). Uniquely they are in a position to lobby their politicans for climate justice in Europe and North America. To facilitate this understanding, it was good that the conference occurred in the heart of the Bangladeshi community in London.
The second session was chaired by Ansar Ahmed Ullah with a paper presented by Ziaul Hoque of Oxfam GB Asia called Climate Change Planning & Finance in Bangladesh which outlined well all the major national policies developed by the Bangladesh government in dealing with the key issues around climate change. He also emphasised how all finances of adaptation were being by-passed in global agreements and the country itself was having to put up alot of the cost of critical adaptation work. This reality needs to be emphasised as often global deals appear to offer alot but in reality it does not materialise either in monies or technology transfer. And finally Ahmed Ziauddin wanted climate justice for displaced people covered in future neogotiations as one obvious adaptative response to the climate change.
There were many lines to follow from the half-day conference, and the subsequent networking session gave opportunities for individual to pursue them. I trust the organisers will see fit to make this an annual event to see how we are progressing with the many suggestions made to get climate justice in Climate Change.