Projects Undertaking through PPP Must Internalise Costs of Climate Change-induced Loss and Damage
ActionAid Bangladesh, Dhaka, 25 August 2021
Any project we are undertaking through Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) should internalise the cost of climate change induced Loss and Damage. We have significant proportion of financing coming from the Private Sector in Bangladesh. 81% of our Annual GDP comes from the private sector and 19% from Government, said Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus, Principal Secretary to the Honorable Prime Minister while delivering his speech as the Chief Guest in a seminar titled ‘’Addressing Climate Change Induced Loss and Damage in Bangladesh in Partnership with Private Sector” in a hotel of Dhaka on 25 August 2021.
The seminar was co-organised by the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Authority, Prime Minister’s Office of the Government of Bangladesh, ActionAid Bangladesh and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD).
Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus stated that, the cost of Loss and Damage can be initernalise from this private financing. He impasised more on mitigation and suggested to integrate the issues of climate change induced Loss and Damage in every project implemented by the government. He also stressed to engage private sector more to pursue activities to make a better future for next generation.
“If we could internalize the costs, we could externalize the impacts of climate change induced Loss and Damage” Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus added.
There is a natural limit to adaptation. After some point, we will not be able to adapt. We must understand, adaptation is not going to give solution. Mitigation has to be done, said Saber Hossain Chowdhury, member of Parliament, Dhaka-9 and Chairman, Standing Committee of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change while addressing as Guest of Honor in the seminar.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury also emphasised on restructuring the climate financing. He also stated that Bangladesh has got a commitment of climate financing from the international sources for the period of 2020-2024. This target must be met as a minimum, he stated. He also mentioned that as part of Paris agreement, Bangladesh needs to confirm receiving the committed climate financing. Mr. Chowdhury also recommended to have a risk assessment and identifying the risks. Private sector is going to look at return on investment, we have to make business profitable for them, he also stated.
Loss and Damage is not equal for all countries. This is to some extent social or to some extent regional. These areas should be considered during climate change assessment, said Md. Mostafa Kamal, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change while addressing as a special guest of the seminar. Mr. Kamal invited the private sector to join hands with the public sector for long term climate financing.
Climate change and Loss and Damage should be taken into consideration while initiating any project and PPPA should ensure that infrastructures are climate resilient, said Sultana Afroz, Secretary & CEO, Public-Private Partnership Authority (PPPA), who chaired the seminar. She also said that Government of Bangladesh is initiating Public Private Partnership for addressing climate change induced Loss and Damage.
His Excellency Benoit Prefontaine, High Commissioner of Canada said, COP-26 is coming soon. He identified this as an opportunity and said that the areas of potential coordination should be figured out. “We are trying to understand what kind of messages we should be sending to the investors of our country” Benoit Prefontaine added.
Ms. Judith Herbertson, Head, DFID Bangladesh emphasised on financing particularly for least developed countries to reduce future loss and damage.
Ms. Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh has appreciated the role of Bangladesh as the chair of Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and also recognised the early warning and anticipatory actions to disaster response.
Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP also presented in the seminar mentioned that, Private Sector has the expertise and resources to mitigate climate change impacts. This expertise and resources can be utilised for making societies more resilient, he also mentioned. In this regard, he mentioned PPP as an opportunity to get things done quickly, as it is not affordable to wait for long for the public sector to accomplish everything. He appreciated that private sector does not only invests on infrastructures but also can foresee the futures.
During the climate negotiation process, Loss and Damage does not get enough attentions, said Dr. Munjurul Hannan Khan, Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. After Warsaw Climate Change Conference, a National Mechanism for Loss and Damage was attempted. If this mechanism is in place, it will be easy to engage the private sector, he stated.
Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director of International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) said, climate change is happening, and we must be better prepared to deal with it. He also stated that damage can be repaired but loss of something cannot be reverted.
Along with economic loss and damage, we are also facing social and cultural damages. Women and children are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We need additional fund and need to take this to global level. We hope private sector will listen invest in climate change induced loss and damage, said Farah Kabir, Country Director, ActionAid Bangladesh.