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Window to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C still open Minister says


Published : 18 Feb 2024 01:42 AM

Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, has said the window to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C is still open.

"Climate change is an existential threat, but we have not yet entered the era of overshoot," he said.

"If emissions peak by 2025, are halved by 2030, and we achieve net zero by 2050, then the worst impacts of climate change can still be avoided, and we can limit temperature rise to 1.5 °C. The window, though, is a narrow one, and it will require strong ambition and political will," he also said.

Saber said this while speaking at the Munich Security Conference held in Munich, Germany, on Saturday, February 17, in a panel titled "The unavoidable master risk? Addressing climate overshoot."

The environment minister said overshooting and breaching 1.5 °C will make what is already a disastrous reality even worse, and the IPCC has clearly stated that sustainable development will, in many cases, not be possible.

Saber said climate change is already exacerbating existing social, economic, and geopolitical vulnerabilities, putting national peace and stability at risk. He pointed to sea level rise as a major threat to Bangladesh, as well as increased drought in the north-western regions of the country.

He also said climate change is already causing more frequent and extreme weather events, which are leading to the displacement of people from their homes. By 2050, an estimated 13.3 million people in Bangladesh (the entire population of the State of Bavaria) will be displaced by climate change, making it the country's number one driver of internal migration.

The minister called for urgent action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, saying that this is a matter of survival. He also said developed countries need to provide scaled-up and adequate financial assistance to developing countries to help them adapt to climate change and build resilience.

"We should not rush into untested technology and chartered waters such as carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation modification and instead focus on what we know for certain works: mitigation, nature based solutions, and afforestation," he also said.

Former Costa Rican President and Commissioner of the Climate Overshoot Commission, Carlos Alvarado Quesada; former Pakistani Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar; and European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Maroš Šefčovič, also attended the panel discussion.