How to make COP27 a success – global issues

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6-18 to November 2022, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Egypt seeks solidarity among countries to achieve the landmark Paris Agreement, the People and the Plan. Credit: United Nations
  • Opinion by Sohanur Rahman (dhaka, bangladesh)
  • Interpress service

The most vulnerable communities are the ones facing the reality that the COP27 climate summit in Sharm-El-Shaikh is trying to prevent. According to the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh suffers an average annual loss of US$2.2 billion from floods, which is comparable to 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP.

The Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) estimates that climate change has cost Bangladesh US$12 billion over the past 40 years alone. This will lead to an annual decline in GDP of 0.5 to 1 percent, which is projected to reach 2 percent by 2050.

From melting glaciers to a “monster” monsoon, record floods have now left a third of Pakistan under water, and climate catastrophe is altering monsoon patterns in South Asia, increasing the likelihood of deadly floods.

The entire region produces only a small amount of carbon dioxide emissions, with Pakistan and Bangladesh producing less than 1 percent, but it is a “climate crisis hotspot,” as a recent report by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted.

Therefore, it seems fair that rich polluting countries pay climate reparations to vulnerable countries for their historical injustices.

Last year I spent two weeks in Glasgow at the COP26 conference hoping to bring positive news to the most affected communities. But unfortunately, it was disappointing for all marginalized individuals as their voice was ignored at the summit. Although at least the youth was recognized at the COP for the first time.

And yet, we young people felt helpless and betrayed after COP26. The empty promises known as the Glasgow Climate Pact will not protect our people from the global climate crisis.

However, prioritizing adaptation, COP26 produced a comprehensive two-year Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work program on the goal of global adaptation. It includes an unprecedented ambition for developed countries to increase adaptation support to least developed countries by 2025.

Lack of accessibility and accountability

The adaptation community made significant contributions, but mostly online and outside the negotiation rooms. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the inaccessibility and systemic barriers to climate debate for people in the Global South. Disadvantaged and most affected persons must be allowed to participate in the COP process.

Above all, because the solutions do not only come from conference halls full of experts, big companies and government leaders, but they also have to come from the ground.

The world’s poorest have the most resilient and indigenous knowledge to deal with crises. It is a way of learning by doing. We don’t know what will work, but we have to try to adapt. Only people from vulnerable communities can teach the rest of the world about climate resilience.

This global catastrophe is the result of a flawed economic paradigm fueled by capitalism, European colonialism and the ever-increasing dominance of powerful men. Despite acknowledging the harmful consequences and viable remedies, the global community is not acting fast enough to address the climate crisis.

We are experiencing the same global catastrophe, but we are not in the same boat. It’s like we’re on the Titanic and the Global North is on the lifeboats. Millions of people are drowning in freezing water because the rich refuse to share, even though they are fully aware of the consequences. They cannot do business as usual during greenwashing with empty climate peaks.

An untapped resource: the youth

Unprecedented mobilization of young people, such as the Global Climate Strike across the world, demonstrates their enormous power to hold the world’s climate decision makers accountable.

Youth groups have shown in the past that they are capable of taking action and promoting climate issues on the front lines to the headlines. As representatives of Bangladeshi youth, we spoke on stage during COP26 to emphasize the need to make the COP accessible to youth and the need to change the actions needed for a resilient future.

The involvement of children and youth in climate action is quite limited in our country. Young people on the front lines of disaster response and adaptation provide humanitarian aid and lead adaptation initiatives as first responders. Bangladesh has just completed its second term as president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).

While Ghana appointed a youth ambassador before becoming president, Bangladesh missed an opportunity to involve youth in the CVF. However, it has committed to ensure youth participation at COP25 by signing the Children and Youth Declaration on Climate Action.

Bangladesh has already flagged the Long Term Delta Plan (BDP 2100) – a comprehensive plan to integrate the activities of the delta-related sectors across the country – as a gift and protection for future generations. But unfortunately it ignores the youth in the implementation process.

Bangladesh has emphasized youth participation in the National Youth Policy and National Adaptation Plan. However, successful measures to engage children and young people at local, national and global levels are yet to be seen. The government has not allowed young people to participate in the country’s delegation and negotiation processes.

Youth participation in climate action is an undeniable element of inclusion. Young people must be involved in decision-making processes and even in the implementation of climate policies, plans and projects, working with young people at all levels.

Young people are already doing their part, often convening debates and lobbying, working closely with key ministries and parliamentary platforms, such as the Bangladesh Climate Parliament, to engage young people in the leadership of climate action. The government and other development partners must respond.

The need for greater involvement

The upcoming COP27 must be more inclusive. A good start is the annual pre-COP, which includes both the Youth COP and the #AccountabilityCOP. However, ahead of the conference, there must be more young people represented in national delegations and participating substantively in regional, national and regional talks.

It must expand access to tokens and funding for young people, especially those from the Global South, and allow observers to actively participate in negotiations.

At the moment we are worried that COP27 will be worse than COP26. Requests have already been made to move the venue from Egypt due to concerns about human rights violations due to the country’s restrictions on civil space and the lack of rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, as well as persecution of people. gender diverse groups.

Human Rights Watch has already called Egypt’s presidency of COP27 “probably a bad choice.”

On the way to COP27, we young people will present our agenda and continue to advocate for effective results. If global leaders play less hypocrisy and invest more, COP27 could be a breakthrough in climate justice for vulnerable people. In addressing this disaster, we support climate justice for all people everywhere, a new frontier for human rights.

Sohanur Rahman is YouthNet’s climate justice coordinator.

Source: International Politics and Society is published by the Global and European Policy Unit of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Hiroshimastrasse 28, D-10785 Berlin.

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© Inter Press Service (2022) — all rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service