Pay your carbon debt: keep your commitment

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Dhaka, 15th February 2010. Today twenty one civil society organizations (CSO), in a rally and human chain in front of national press club, called upon the developed country representatives and donors, who are participating in Bangladesh Development Forum BDF, to pay their carbon debt as compensation. Speakers from the Human Chain said that Bangladesh is facing most catastrophic caused by climate change, which is the result of high carbon emissions historically by the developed countries. They also claimed that developed countries are indebted to the people of Bangladesh and they should pay their carbon debt. The rally blamed that, developed countries are not keeping their commitment in supporting the climate change affected countries; they remind them to keep their commitment. Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD moderated the rally where Badrul Alam of La Via Campesina, Feroz Ahmed of Lead Trust, Prodip Roy of On Line knowledge Center, Shamsuddoha and Rezaul K. Chowdhury of EquityBD also spoke.

From the human chain the organizers released a joint statement developed by twenty one organization which includes Arpon, AMKS, Eso, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, CSRL, EquityBD, Kishani Shova, Lead Trust, On line knowledge center, Potikrit, La via campesina, MFTD, Prantik, Purbasha, RCASV, Swadin Bangla Garments Sromik Federation, Solidarity Workshop, Sirajgonj Flood Forum, Uddipan, Voice, EquityBD and World Development Movement -UK. In the statement they mentioned that in the recent years Bangladesh is facing frequent and more intense cyclonic disaster which has clear link with the climate change. Cyclone SIDR in Bangladesh in 2007 caused death of 4000 lives and $ 1.7 billions of economic loss. Again cyclone AILA in Bangladesh in 2009 caused death of 150 lives and $ 1.5 billions of economic loss. But so far Bangladesh has received less then 20 % of the economic loss caused by these disasters. Such huge economic fall back making the country bound to seek fund from the IFIs and other developed countries. Meantime Bangladesh already indebted in such a way that the country has to pay 20 % of its revenue budget as debt servicing liabilities, which is much higher than its annual health and education budget. Speakers mentioned that debt business, capitalizing the climate crisis, by the developed countries is injustice. The developed countries did injustice historically by utilizing more atmospheric space and global public goods that their fair shares.

Simultaneous rally also organized in front of DFID office in London. This rally is jointly organized by World Development Movement (WDM), Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, Friends of the Earth and Christian Aid. They criticized the role of DFID as this organization is pressing Government of Bangladesh to allow World Bank to manage to multi donor trust fund on climate change. This is to mention that, in response to a joint call by EquityBD and WDM, thousands of people in the UK sent e-mail to the UK Prime Minister for not challenging climate funds for Bangladesh through the World Bank. The also called to their government to allocate climate fund in addition to the existing ODA commitment of the UK government.

Organizers declared that they will organize similar rally and human chain in front of press club tomorrow 16th February, demanding sovereign, democratic and responsible financing to make aid reaching to poor, transparent and locally accountable.

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