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Climate budget trivial to tackle adverse impacts

Experts opine

FE REPORT | September 15, 2021 00:00:00

The existing financial allocation is insignificant to allow societies and vulnerable populations to adapt to adverse effects and reduce impacts of climate change, experts observed at an event on Tuesday.

They also suggested that the climate change budget must incorporate climate change-induced migration as well as losses and damages.

Climate experts and stakeholders said these at a webinar -'Stakeholder Consultation on Bangladesh Climate Budget FY 2021-22' - organised by ActionAid Bangladesh.

They noted that less than 8.0 per cent of the budget of the twenty-five key ministries and divisions of Bangladesh has been allocated for climate change, which amounts to Tk 251.24 billion.

Of this allocation, Tk 102.86 billion has been allocated under the operating budget, and Tk 148.38 billion under the development budget. Compared to last year's allocation, the budget for fiscal year (FY) 2021-22 has decreased from 7.48 per cent to 7.26 per cent, they mentioned.

On the other hand, the differential impact of climate change on women threatens to undermine advancement of their empowerment in social development and politics.

Thus, it is necessary to give attention to the gender dimension of climate change to develop specific and effective climate action plans, which would address the risks women face.

Dr. Mizan R. Khan, Professor of Environmental Science and Management - North South University, said, "Some 85 per cent of the allocation for climate finance comes from local sectors, so the local sectors must be given importance."

"At the same time, climate financing should have transparency and accountability," he mentioned.

Ferdousy Begum, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, identified women and children as most vulnerable to any disaster. The government is trying to formulate a women and children-friendly budget, she added.

Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, said, "It is true that we are now going through a three-pronged crisis of Covid, climate and economy."

"Yet there is still a huge gap in leadership, consensus, planning, implementation, investment and allocation around the world in climate finance."

The impact of climate change must be borne in mind at the outset of any project, she added, urging that development works must be women and youth-friendly.

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