Speaker urges parliamentarians to ‘lead by example’ in tackling climate change

Building Momentum and Empowering Leadership in Tackling Climate Change Challenges

May 19, 2023

Capturing the urgency: A visual reminder of the devastating effects of climate change, pushing us to take immediate action for a sustainable future.

Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury has urged MPs to ‘lead by example’ and undertake various activities, from reducing carbon footprint to raising awareness to tackle climate change.

The call came during a workshop on supporting climate action through parliamentary action jointly organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Bangladesh parliament on 15 May 2023.

The foundation workshop was attended by 20 parliamentarians and over 15 secretariat officials.  They were sensitised on key concepts, approaches, and good practices around climate security and finance, identifying opportunities for parliamentary follow-up on Bangladesh’s COP27 commitments and ensuring broader and integrated climate programming.

UNDP Bangladesh’s Deputy Resident Representative Van Nguyen, the special guest at the event, pointed out, “Climate change is a “risk multiplier” that has manifold implications for peace, stability and security.”

 She added, “It has the potential to exacerbate existing security threats, such as food and water insecurity, displacement, and conflict over resources.”

 “The country needs to adopt a holistic approach to address these security threats by promoting sustainable development, strengthening social safety nets, and promoting climate governance,” Van said. 

International Centre for Climate Change & Development (ICCCAD) Director Professor Saleemul Huq pointed out that Bangladeshi parliamentarians are already playing a leading role for the last few years.

“At the national level, the parliamentarians – as part of their membership of the different parliamentary standing committees – have a constitutionally mandated role of overseeing the activities of different ministries of the government.”

“They need to sharpen their role in monitoring their activities in tackling climate change, especially the allocation and disbursement of the climate budget under the Ministry of Finance,” he added.

Huq also pointed out that the climate budget, “an excellent initiative of the finance ministry”, will not be useful just by announcing the budget allocations without providing information on the actual expenditures.

The workshop ended with resounding success with certain follow-up and future activities, including finalising the climate finance handbook for the parliamentarians, commissioning research constituency-specific climate change trend and vulnerability analysis, arranging a session on Bangladesh's Delta plan, and forming a special committee to strengthen climate governance in the country. 

Anowarul Haq, Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, Maliha Muzammil, Climate Change Specialist, UNDP Bangladesh and Tomokazu Serizawa, Programme Specialist, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, were also present.

KM Abdus Salam, Senior Secretary of the Bangladesh Parliament, moderated the workshop.


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