PM seeks "bold measures" over climate as UNGA awaits US pledges
By Anisur Rahman
NEW YORK, Sept 21, 2021 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought
global leaders' bolder steps over the climate change crisis amid speculations
about particularly US pledges towards the issue in the 76th UN General
Assembly (UNGA) debate.
In a closed-door meeting of world leaders ahead of the weeklong UNGA
debate, the Bangladesh premier renewed her call for strict implementation of
the Paris Agreement to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted the meeting jointly with UN
Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York on Monday (New York local time).
Sheikh Hasina reminded the advanced nations that despite having slightest
contribution to global green house gas emissions, Bangladesh and other
climate vulnerable countries were exposed to its worst wraths as she asked
their leaders to address the issue with enhanced financing to save the
Johnson as well urged them to pledge more money towards supporting
developing nations move away from fossil fuels, particularly pointing to the
United States, saying getting a commitment from President Joe Biden would
"make a huge difference".
The UK premier acknowledged the vulnerable countries concerns but said the
world would have to wait to hear from Biden about whether the US would pay
its fair share in climate finance especially to protect the climate
vulnerable and undeveloped nations to face the crisis.
"We heard some promising commitments from our friends in Sweden, Denmark,
Italy, and others in the EU . . . but the United States is crucially
important," the UK premier told newsmen emerging from the meeting.
He added: "We've all heard lots of pledges, lots of positive noises. Let's
see where we get to. We're not counting our chickens."
Biden did not attend the global leaders' closed-door meeting on climate
change though his climate envoy John Kerry was in attendance while the US
president is expected to address the UNGA on Tuesday.
More than a decade ago in the 2015, Paris Agreement leaders from the
developed world agreed to start transferring US$100 billion to the Global
South every year by 2020.
But the goal was missed while the US was particularly criticized for
failing to transfer any money under the Trump administration.
The climate crisis is expected to largely dominate the UNGA general debate
this week alongside the COVID and Afghanistan's future.
The United Nations earlier this week said the 76th UNGA as a potential
pivot point to address the climate issue and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The choices we make will either secure human, economic and environmental
health for generations to come, or reinforce old patterns that are destroying
nature and driving societal division," read the official overview of the
The UN General Assembly hosts a much-watched debate of world leaders each
year but for the first time in the assembly's seventy-five-year history,
leaders of member states did not gather in person due to the coronavirus
pandemic last year.
Many of them were joining it through the virtual platform this year as well
in the session of the main UN policy-making organ with 193 member states
having an equal vote.
More than 100 world leaders, however, are heading to New York for the
annual high-level United Nations gathering and meetings on the UNGA
The UNGA also appoints the UN Secretary-General on the recommendation of
the Security Council, elects the non-permanent members of the Security
Council and approves the UN budget while the assembly meets in regular
sessions from September to December each year, and thereafter as required.
It discusses specific issues through dedicated agenda items or sub-items,
which lead to the adoption of resolutions.