A year has passed since President Trump announced that the United States would formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. What has happened since has been a mixture of good and bad—but on the whole, more good than bad.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to channel much of the USD 100 billion a year starting from 2020 onwards that the developed countries have promised to provide to developing countries to tackle climate change through both mitigation and adaptation projects and activities.
The principles of equity, justice and fairness are fundamental to understanding and addressing the challenges of global climate change. This is because the problem has been caused by the emissions of the rich countries for several centuries but will primarily impact the poorest people and poorest countries.
In the past week, there have been devastating floods in Houston, Texas in the United States of America as well as in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, not to mention China as well.
The G20 meeting of leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies ended a few days ago in Hamburg, Germany with a strong statement of commitment for implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by 19 of the leaders, with the exception of President Trump who has decided to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.
Since the announcement by President Trump that the US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change, he has been facing a whirlwind of push backs and rejection by all the 195 countries who are parties to the Paris Agreement (only Syria and Nicaragua did not sign it), and it looks like the US will be on its own on this issue from now on, and is already being termed a rogue state by many.
The subject of adaptation to climate change has gone through two major phases already and is now on its third phase.
In the historic Paris Agreement reached in December 2015 at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), all countries agreed to collectively achieve two global goals. The first was to keep the long-term global temperature increase well below 2 degrees centigrade, or if possible, below 1.5 degrees. The second was to try to achieve a Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA).
Over the next two to three decades, there are two major overarching trends that Bangladesh will have to deal with, and therefore have to plan for as well. The first trend is a positive one, which is our desire, and indeed commitment, to graduating out of Least Developed Country (LDC) status within less than a decade. The second, more negative trend, is to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change that will occur along the way.
Although President Trump has only been in office for less than a month, it is already becoming clear how he intends to carry out implementing his campaign pledges and who he is appointing in his cabinet. It is therefore possible to assess some likely actions and policies on climate change based on his campaign statements and also some of his advisers' statements and most importantly from his own Twitter statements.
Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developed countries have agreed to provide developing countries with USD 100 billion per year, starting from 2020 onwards, to help tackle climate change through both mitigation and adaptation.
After the Paris Agreement on climate change endorsed by every participating country last December at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Convention in Climate Change (UNFCCC), all the participants , including both developing as well as developed countries, have to put in place a clear strategy to not only reduce emissions of greenhouse gases through mitigation actions, but also to adapt to the adverse impacts of human-induced climate change.