Sunday, August 30, 2009

Urgency of tackling climate change

Douglas Alexander (UK Secretary of State for International Development) and Ed Miliband (UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change) in the Daily Star (Bangladesh): …As well as coming to listen, we have also come to South Asia to explain that we recognise the role that developed countries must play in facing up to our duties to help solve the problem of climate change. And we are here to work with the Indian and Bangladeshi Governments, to help secure an ambitious, fair and effective deal in Copenhagen.

Firstly, the UK recognises developed countries' historic responsibility for climate change. The developed world must lead in the response and must do more. That means ambitious commitments to reduce emissions, including from the United States and Europe. The UK has set out plans to reduce its emissions by one third by 2020 compared to 1990 and our Climate Change Act puts our stringent targets in legislation. We are prepared to go even further as part of a global deal.

Secondly, developed countries must meet our commitment to provide the finance and technology to help developing countries address the challenges of climate change. Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently launched a climate finance initiative which put a global figure of around $100 billion every year by 2020 to help developing countries address climate change, including adapting to its impacts. Finance needs to flow in the context of an ambitious global deal.

…Bangladesh, a very low-energy consuming country, is pursuing a low-carbon growth path whilst building its resilience to climate change, reducing the risks climate change poses to national development. This is the kind of action, which the UK stands ready to assist. We are keen to learn how, as part of a global climate deal, we can help India and Bangladesh to build on these plans, thereby helping to tackle together the climate challenge and lift millions more out of poverty…..

The Banyan, the national tree of Bangladesh, shot by McKay Savage, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

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