Following the publication of the EU Adaptation Strategy, on 1 August 2021, the European Union Delegation to Bangladesh started the Climate Adaptation Campaign on its social media, which will continue until the end of the month.
While ambitious action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions remains essential to limit further temperature rise, the reality of the climate emergency is already here. In recent years, unprecedented extreme weather events have devastated a number of regions, contributing to political and social instability. The economic crisis caused by COVID-19 will limit many countries’ capacity to tackle the impacts of climate change and, simultaneously, the adverse effects of climate change are likely to affect their ability to recover and meet their development objectives. As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission published a new and ambitious adaptation strategy on 24th February. The strategy will make the European Union not only a climate-neutral, but also a climate-resilient society by 2050. The strategy pursues four interlinked objectives: to make adaptation smarter, more systemic and faster, and to step up international action.
We need to act immediately. Now is the time to transform our societies and economies both in Europe as well as in Bangladesh. We need to move from ‘business as usual’ approaches to integrated, longer-term strategies for adaptation and disaster risk management. We must ensure that the COVID-19 recovery agenda increases local adaptive capacity. As pointed out by the Global Commission on Adaptation, investing USD 1.8 trillion globally in just five key adaptation areas from 2020 to 2030 could generate up to USD 7.1 trillion in total net benefits. Adaptation is a no-regret investment for any country. The five areas considered are early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture, mangrove protection, and investments in making water resources more resilient.
The EU has been already working and innovating on these areas in Bangladesh since 2016 funding a project called “Local Government Initiative on Climate Change” (LoGIC), contributing with 15 million EUR. This is a joint initiative led by the Local Government Division of the Ministry of Local Government Rural Development together with EU, Sweden and implemented by UNDP and UNCDF. LoGIC has been designed to support approximately 200,000 of the most vulnerable households in 72 unions in seven districts in Bangladesh, and following its successful approach has been scaled-up in 2021, and aims doubling the number of beneficiaries in the next year and half. The benefits are expected to come out of climate change adaptation actions at various levels, scaled up through local government institutions incorporating high-quality accountability and participation of the most vulnerable people.
“Bangladesh is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries globally. The EU is aware that areas such as the south-west and the floodplains are particularly vulnerable, both from an economic and climate-change perspective. It is fundamental to raise people attention to climate adaptation because the effects of climate change are already here, so we need to do much more to adapt to the consequences and mitigate to the maximum possible extent. The new EU Adaptation Strategy launched in June 2021 will help us get there and provide a framework for further action in the years to come” stated Mr Maurizio CIAN, Head of Unit – Head of Cooperation.
“We must sharply cut greenhouse gas emissions to prevent unmanageable impacts and at the same time, we must adapt to climate change to increase society's resilience and manage unavoidable impacts. We are convinced that mitigation and adaptation are complementary and reinforce each other. The EU with its member states and through concrete actions such as the Team Europe Initiative on Green Energy Transition and LoGIC is already working on this direction and will continue to devote a high share of our international cooperation funding to climate action.”
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