Dhaka, September 8, 2023. Today, a group of prominent civil society organizations and concerned citizens organized a human chain, cycle rally and mime event in the lead-up to the G-20 conference in New Delhi, India, scheduled for September 9-10, 2023. The event was jointly organized by Waterkeepers Bangladesh, COAST Foundation, EquityBD, Brotee, Sundarban and Upakul Surakka Andolan, Youth Net for Climate Justice, Centre for Participatory Research and Development, Global Law Thinkers Society, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, and Bangladesh Cycle Lane Bastabayn Parishad. Speaking at the event, Sharmin Murshid, Chief Executive of Brotee and event chair, emphasized that G-20 countries bear significant responsibility for the climate crisis. Excessive carbon emissions from these nations have resulted in a severe global climate crisis. Murshid called upon these countries to fulfill their obligations by providing technical support to global south nations instead of ensnaring them in debt. She also stressed the need for the G-20 conference to translate declarations into concrete actions for the benefit of affected countries.
Sharif Jamil, Coordinator of Waterkeepers Bangladesh, echoed these sentiments, highlighting that climate change has pushed countries like Bangladesh into a severe crisis. While each G-20 conference produces numerous commitments, their implementation has been lacking. Jamil urged the G-20 to devise effective plans for compensating vulnerable countries and not perpetuate debt burdens.
Badrul Alam, President of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, expressed disappointment in the G-20’s inability to uphold its commitments made since 2009 to reduce fossil fuel usage. He emphasized the need for economic, trade, and climate justice and called for a shift in G-20 countries’ roles in favor of poorer nations.
Nikhil Chandra Bhadra, Coordinator of Sundarban Upakul Surrakka Andolan, highlighted the escalating natural disasters in coastal areas due to climate change, endangering the Sundarbans and forcing coastal communities to migrate. He urged poorer countries to unite and mobilize against wealthier nations.
Al Emran of the Centre for Participatory Research and Development demanded that developed nations compensate developing nations for their climate change-induced debt relief.
The event featured compelling mime performances by Mime Action, Dhaka University, illustrating the plight of climate migrants and the issue of deforestation. Additionally, more than 100 cyclists from Bangladesh Cycle Lane Bastabayn Parishad participated in a cycle rally to raise awareness of climate issues.
Prominent civil society figures, including Rauman Smita, President of Global Law Thinkers; S.S. Siddique, Advisor of the Competition Commission; S.Z. Apu, Coordinator of Youth Net; and Sanat Kumar Bhowmik, Deputy Executive Director of COAST Foundation/EquityBD, addressed the human chain, advocating for climate and economic justice.
The G-20 conference, with the theme “Bhasudhaibha Ktumbakum” or “One Globe, One Family, One Future,” is attended by the leaders of 19 countries and is taking place in New Delhi from September 9 to 10, 2023. Established in 1999, the G-20 has addressed climate change, trade, health, and other global issues but has yet to achieve climate and economic justice for less fortunate nations. This campaign is concurrently taking place in 10 Asian countries, coordinated by the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).