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US for making US$100b for climate fund each year: Kerry

ZOOMBANGLA DESK: The United States (US) Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry today said his country is looking forward to create the pledged 100 billion US dollar global fund each year for combating climate change, BSS reports.

“President Biden will make a further commitment going forward to create the 100 billion dollars that should be there (for climate fund),” he said.

The former US secretary of state made the remark while making a joint press briefing with foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at the State Guest House Padma in the capital.

As part of the Paris Agreement pledge, there was a provision of raising USD 100 billion per year from 2020 onwards to help the vulnerable countries tackle climate change through mitigation and adaptation but so far the pledge was failed.

About the US’s own commitment of providing three billion US dollar for climate fund after the Paris agreement, Kerry said, President Biden has already put two billion US dollars in the budget for the fund that was missing “because President Trump was there”.

Before assuming the US presidency by Donald Trump, Kerry mentioned that the Obama administration had provided one billion US dollar as per the pledge but rest of the two billion US dollars were cut off by the Trump administration.

Kerry has been nominated Joe Biden’s Climate Envoy as the US returned to the Paris Agreement, from which Donald Trump withdrew, generating high hopes among vulnerable countries in financing climate adaption and mitigation.

The special envoy said the US is delighted to work together with Bangladesh in the climate change front.

“(We hope) He will achieve at least 100 billion US dollars climate fund in each year, that is, we have requested him (Kerry) today,” foreign minister Dr Momen said.

He said Bangladesh would like to see out of that 100 billion annual climate fund, 50 percent should be allocated for adaptation and 50 percent for mitigation.

The joint press briefing was held after Kerry’s meeting with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Environment Minister Shahab Uddin, Special Envoy of the Climate Vulnerable Forum Presidency Abul Kalam Azad and Saber Hossain Chowdhury MP at the state guesthouse Padma today.

During today’s meeting, Dr Momen said, they discussed about US-Bangladesh climate collaboration in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation, renewable energy, waste management, technology transfer and climate financing.

“These are major issue we have discussed and we to collaborate in partnership (between US and Bangladesh) to achieve our goals for betterment of the future generation,” he said.

Momen said the Bangladesh side informed the US special envoy that thousands of people have been uprooted in the country every year due to river erosion affected by the global warming.

He said they discussed about the environmental degradation in Cox’s Bazar due to sheltering of 1.1 million persecuted Rohingyas there.

“We hope to get the US’s proactive initiative for safe and dignified return of Rohingyas (to Myanmar) for a decent living,” he said.

While replying a question about the Rohingya issue, Kerry said, the US is focused to find out a solution to repatriate Rohignyas as well as restoration of democracy in Myanmar.

He lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for showing ‘extraordinary active generosity’ towards Rohingyas that became even very expensive for Bangladesh.

Kerry said the international community need to step up more as it is not only Bangladesh’s responsibility to take all the burden of Rohingyas.

Recalling his personal visit to Myanmar and meeting with the generals there, Kery said the US tried very hard to ensure accountability but the generals didn’t honor the efforts.

About the COVID cooperation, Kerry said the US will continue to produce vaccines, which will be available for other countries of the world, soon 100 million Americans are vaccinated.

John Kerry arrived here this morning for brief a visit to hand over the US President Joe Biden’s invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for attending a climate summit.

After the joint briefing, the Special Envoy called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and handed over the invitation to attend the “Leaders’ Summit on Climate” to be held on April 22 and 23 virtually.

US President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to the Summit.

At the summit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be recognised for Bangladesh’s leadership of countries, especially those vulnerable to climate change impacts, said a statement of the US Embassy in Bangladesh.

As the chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers, Bangladesh plays a vital role in international efforts to combat climate change and adapt and build resilience to climate hazards, it added.
“Secretary Kerry’s visit underscores the importance the US places on our partnership with Bangladesh, a vital leader in international efforts to address climate change,” the statement said quoting US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen saw Kerry off at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in city at 5:48 PM.