Failure not acceptable in Copenhagen

November 11, 2009 12:00 am

, DHAKA, Nov 11 – Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has told global leaders that poor nations will not accept failure at a crucial climate change summit next month in Copenhagen.

Hasina was speaking late Tuesday in Dhaka at a video conference with leaders of six other countries, including Gordon Brown of Britain and Kevin Rudd of Australia, as well as United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon.

"We cannot accept the failure of the Copenhagen summit," Hasina told the conference.

"The most vulnerable countries and the least developed countries are worried that their legitimate demands are being sidelined by the disagreements in climate change negotiations between the developed and developing countries."

She urged rich nations to help climate-hit, poor nations such as Bangladesh in the same way they bailed out economies damaged by the global recession.

"If the developed countries could pump trillions of dollars for reviving the world economic situation, they could surely be equally generous to save us, themselves and the world," Hasina said.

"For least developed countries like Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal and other countries which are more vulnerable, we want that all the developed countries take a clear decision about the finance."

Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest nations, is one of the countries worst affected by climate change with some scientists predicting 20 million people will be displaced by 2050 because of rising sea levels.

Hasina’s government wants five billion dollars immediately from rich countries to help it adapt to increasing floods, cyclones and droughts caused by climate change.

The video conference, chaired by Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, was arranged by the Copenhagen Commitment Circle, a platform of world leaders formed ahead of the summit. It is the second such event held this month.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi also participated.


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