12 climate MPs endorse call for fossil fuel free future
Twelve Bangladeshi Members of Parliament endorsed the parliamentarians' call for a fossil fuel free future to address the urgency of a fast and just transition away from the use of fossil fuels and the advancement of democratic, renewable, and safe energy systems for all people and communities in line with the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius and avoiding climate catastrophes.
This announcement comes just a week after the Bangladeshi youth climate activists from YouthNet for Climate Justice's urged the government and investors to put a stop to the country's high dependence on fossil fuel imports, primarily LNG imports.
According to climate experts, Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable nations in the world to the impacts of climate change, while it has produced only a miniscule amount of the greenhouse gas emissions.
Parliamentarians Tanvir Shakil Joy, Chair, Climate Parliament Bangladesh, Waseqa Ayesha Khan, Vice-chair, Climate Parliament Bangladesh, Mustafa Lutfullah, Ahsan Adelur Rahman, Naheed Ezaher Khan, Selim Altaf Gorge, Shameem Haidar Patwary, Razee Mohammad Fakhrul, Pankaj Nath, and Rumana Ali are prominent leaders who have pushed the climate agenda in Parliament and endorsed the Parliamentarians' call for a fossil fuel free future on Wednesday, according to the up-to-date list of the signatories and the full text of their call is available at fossilfuelfreefuture.org.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Nahim Razzaq, Convener, Climate Parliament Bangladesh, both MPs from Bangladesh, were among the first to endorse the call.
The list of lawmakers is growing, and to date, 460 members of parliament from 63 countries have endorsed the call, demonstrating strong solidarity with the notion for managed reduction in reliance on fossil fuels.
The Parliamentarians' Call sets out key demands, including calling for new levels of international cooperation, as well as commitments and treaties complementing the Paris Agreement which would end new expansion of oil, gas and coal production in line with the best available science as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); phase out existing oil, gas and coal in a manner that is fair and equitable, taking into account the responsibilities of countries for climate change and their respective capacity to transition; commit to and pursue transformational policies and plans to ensure 100 per cent access to renewable energy globally, support economies to diversify away from fossil fuels, and enable people and communities across the globe to flourish through a just global transition; enact national budgets and fiscal policies that will support this swift and just transition nationally and globally; ensure the timely and adequate delivery of public, additional and non-debt creating climate finance as part of the obligations of rich, industrialized countries to address climate change.
Applauding his colleagues in the Bangladesh Parliament for signing on to the Parliamentarians' Call, MP Saber H Chowdhury said, "Parliamentarians Call for a Fossil Free Future" has inspired Bangladeshi parliamentarians to show national and global leadership and solidarity in responding to the climate emergency. "From the halls of Jatiya Sangsad to the beaches of Sharm-El Sheikh at COP27 UN Climate Conference, we will speak as one in urging governments to take more decisive action for a rapid, just, and equitable phase out of fossil fuels," said lawmaker Saber H Chowdhury.
"The Lawmakers' Call for a future free of fossil fuels is a significant initiative. Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change and is already experiencing the consequences. The urgency of the situation is not being met by the efforts of the countries who are the most responsible for the emissions of greenhouse gases that have triggered the climate crisis.
As a result, in the face of a growing climate catastrophe, I must announce my support for a fossil-free future and a just energy transition at the national level. I also hope that wealthy nations would take action to ensure a future free of fossil fuels," said Waseqa Ayesha Khan, MP, Chairman, and Parliamentary Standing Committee on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
"The voices of these climate-concerned parliamentarians from Bangladesh will be a formidable voice in persuading governments, public institutions, and corporations to take more decisive climate actions, particularly in shifting away from fossil fuels and accelerating the development of renewable and clean energy-centric initiatives," said Mukul Sharma, Asia Director, Climate Parliament. I hope that more South Asian lawmakers and leaders would follow suit."
Over the past few decades, flooding, storm surges, cyclones and droughts have ravaged Bangladesh. The country has a nearly unparalleled vulnerability to climate change. Bangladesh's flat landscape and dense population leaves communities uniquely susceptible to the effects of climate change.
Even in the country's interior, climate change has sparked widespread drought, a crisis that's affecting millions of poor and vulnerable, especially women and children.
''Bangladesh was committed to leading the path to a solution to fight climate change not only because we wish to avert the worst of climate change; it also makes economic sense by taking Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan (MCPP). Investing in zero-carbon growth is the best way to create jobs across the economy and ensure that our nation becomes more prosperous. Under the plan, Bangladesh intends to obtain 30 per cent of its energy from renewables by the end of the decade.The five-theme MCPP consists of bridging existing plans, a transition toward renewables, creating efficient and greener energy hubs, providing access to global funds and investing in the country's youth,'' said Sohanur Rahman, Executive Coordinator, YouthNet for Climate Justice.
However, he also noted that one of the main actions of MCPP is to transition to renewable energy, which the Parliamentarians' Call for a Fossil Fuel Free Future seeks to address through a collective voice.
Prof Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh and a leading public champion for climate action, said, "I had the pleasure of assisting in the development of a call for a fossil-fuel-free world, and I am very pleased to see the momentum it has already gained around the world. I am delighted that a number of Bangladeshi members of parliament have also asked for the same thing. I hope that more MPs and perhaps Mayors of Dhaka and other cities would join the movement."
"I applaud the parliamentarians from Bangladesh for their climate leadership in calling for a fossil fuel free future, and urge their counterparts in other countries of the South Asian region to follow their example to provide the appropriate policy response to the climate crisis," said Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia.
They have demonstrated leadership and determination in dealing with this emergency, and as representatives of their people, they are on the right track in pursuing the right of their people to democratic, renewable, and safe energy systems, as well as safe, secure life and livelihoods in the face of certain climate disasters, he added.