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US bears greater moral responsibility for global warming impact: Bangladeshi activists to Kerry

Apr 8, 2021

| Star Digital Report

A group of climate and development activists in Bangladesh called on US President Joe Biden's administration to take the leadership role in a global transition to a new clean-energy economy.

The call was made by the Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED), in a letter addressed to US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, who will be visiting Bangladesh tomorrow.

Kerry will come to the country to invite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the virtual "Leaders' Summit on Climate", to be hosted by President Biden on 22-23 April.

The letter, signed by BWGED convener Professor Dr Maruful Islam and member secretary Hasan Mehedi, was sent to the US Embassy in Bangladesh and The United States Environmental Protection Agency via email at 3:43 pm on Thursday.

In the letter, the group urged that US public and private financiers, investors and technology suppliers must stop fossil fuel finance, investment and development to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement.

"US financial institutions are essentially undermining President Biden's pledge to the Paris Agreement and his leadership towards a decarbonised society," the letter reads.

According to the letter, "the US is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing renewable energy markets with advanced technology innovations, creating job opportunities and boosting economic growth. The US financiers and tech giants should get involved with renewable opportunities in Bangladesh to serve the mutual interests of both the countries to build a decarbonised society."

The group argued that the US should have taken the leadership role long ago but the climate crisis was unfortunately deprioritised by the US for several years.

"The United States is currently one of the top emitters and all-time biggest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet since 1750. As the top cumulative emitter, the US bears a greater moral responsibility for the impacts of global warming, for which climate-vulnerable countries like Bangladesh are now suffering", the letter reads.

Hence, the US must push up Global Climate Finance which is falling far short of the $100 billion pledge at Paris, according to the letter.

Moreover, the US must formulate an enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) with an ambitious reduction plan not only within its territory but also beyond the boundaries wherever US economies have a carbon footprint, the letter added.

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