Dhaka 05 June 2023, in a press conference today, Civil Society (CSOs) and experts have demanded at least 3.2% of GDP [Gross Domestic Product] resource for climate financing through national budgetary process in every year. They also demand government to measurable steps by reforming Tax and financial system to stop capital flight for necessary resources mobilization domestically for climate financing. The press conference is jointly organized by COAST Foundation, CPRD [Center for Participatory Research & Development] and CSRL [Centre for Sustainable Rural Livelihood], EquityBD [Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh], AOSED [An Organization for Socio-Economic Development]-Khulna, CANSA-BD [Climate Action Network on South Asia-Bangladesh] and LEDARS-Satkhira. M. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST has moderated the event.
Aminul Hoque said that, government has been allocating a portion of budgetary money for Disaster Management purpose since its independence. This money just shifted in the name of climate finance to show the donors which does not commensurate the present climate context and its requirements in achieving climate resilient Bangladesh. He also shown that government strategic climate plans like Delta plan 2100, Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan 2030 and NDC [National Determined Contribution etc.] is required around 3.2% of GDP [BDT 1,83,000 crore/year] investment every year where allocation is far less against target. In this context, he put a few demands regarding climate financing issues are (i) Government must ensure at least 3.2% of GDP as climate financing according to their strategic plans and real time implementation, (ii) Govt. should think for an Integrated national climate budget instead of separate climate finance which is hardly realistic, (iii) Government should not go with foreign loan for climate financing and will have to manage resource through domestic process benefiting the mass level of investors (iv) Govt. must be taken appropriate measures stopping capital flight for domestic resource mobilization and (iv) Integrated coastal protection program as one of the prioritized investment sectors for saving and developing the coastal livelihood.
Md. Ziaul Hoque Mkuta from CSRL said there are lack of policy coherence among the government climate plans like Delta plan and Mujib Climate Prosperity plan etc. Proposed 2023-24 budget is the output of these inconsistencies where no target on real climate financing. Government will have to emphasis the issues of strategic climate plans and allocate climate finance accordingly.
Md. Shamsuddoha of CPRD opine that government ministries are lack of capacity utilizing money and they don’t have sectoral plan which is one of the causes for separate climate financing. Apart, the ministries are also very much interested to take climate finance from the IFIs [International Financial Institutions] because there have little of accountability and transparency comparing finance through global climate financing process like sovereign donors. He recommended government ministries to develop their institutional capacity for having necessary climate finance.
Mr Shamim Arefinn of AOSED said that government has ignored coastal protection issues. That’s why climate induced displacement and migration being happened and increasing socio-economic imbalance. He hopes govt. will realize the issues as important and revise climate financing strategies accordingly.
Mr. Kawser Rahaman BCJF opine the proposed budget as IMF compliance which ignored the pro-poor demands with imposing regressive taxing like VAT. He demanded the budget revision and introduce resource tax for revenue mobilization. Md Ahsanul Karim demanded appropriate measure to stop capital flight in this regard. Mrs. Ferdous Ara Rumee criticized the budget for less focused to gender and demanded climate finance under safety Net program where climate vulnerable women will be benefited. Event moderator M. Rezaul Karim demand for an integrated coastal development plan and finance where disaster risk reduction, social development like health, technical education and employment generation program implements simultaneously and that will be a real protection and benefit the coastal people.