The 2023 Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly known as COP28, was the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, held from 30 November until 12 December 2023 at Expo City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Over 70,000 delegates who are world leaders, climate experts and campaigners from almost 200 countries gathered in Dubai from 30 November-12 December 2023 to attend the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28).
Mohammad Arifur Rahman, Chief Executive of YPSA along with Mohammad Shahjahan, Director ( KM4D Department) and Focal Person of Climate Change and Displacement Issues participated in the COP28 of UNFCCC representing YPSA (Young Power in Social Action), as an observer organization from Bangladesh. In addition, they have participated in different events and plenary sessions to share YPSA’s lessons and experiences that were learned and gathered through working on climate justice-related projects.
Mohammad Shahjahan was the panelist of the Side Event on 3 December 2023 with the title ”Adaptation, L&D Finance Frameworks ensuring Transformation of South Asian Cities towards Net Zero” in the side event room of Blue Zone of COP 28 venue. The event was moderated by Mr. Shailendra Yashwant, Advisor, CAN South Asia. Panelists of the events were Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director – Research and Advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment; Elisa Sutanudjada, Director, Rujak Centre for Urban Studies; Prof. Vinod Kumar Sharma, Vice Chair – Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority; Almuth Schauber, Desk Officer – Urban Transformation and Urban Climate Policies, Misereor; Dr Arvind Kumar, Founder Trustee – Lung Care Foundation and Debasish Kumar, Mayor in Council, Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
Mohammad Shahjahan presented the research findings of the Status and Scenario of Climate Change Migrants people who are living in the commercial capital city of Bangladesh Chattogram and suffering enormous havoc in their lives. The presentation entitled ‘Transformation of Cities towards Net Zero Climate Forced Displacement and Rural to Urban Migration: A Case of Chattogram City in Bangladesh”.
Mr. Shahjahan stated in his presentation that “Mass migration due to climate change is an ongoing problem in Bangladesh. YPSA conducted the study on contextual analysis of urban migration in Chattogram city where we found that nearly 51% of those who migrate live in temporary structured housing built by bamboo or tin fences. Before migration, 74% had already experienced displacement 1 or 2 times. Almost 60% said no public, private, or community-based organizations working to enhance the adaptation process in slum areas. 42% of migrated families responded that if the Government provided rehabilitation facilities in the origin area they would not come to the urban city. Most of the respondents said that they don’t want to go back to their ancestral places because they lost everything there.
During his speech, Mohammad Shahjahan reiterated some recommendations such as Climate forced displacement and migration issues should be treated as separate agenda items under UNFCCC, and there should be a legal framework at the international level under UNFCCCto deal with climate forced displacement from a human rights perspective, need to develop delivery plan on the commitment of doubling adaptation finance, and fulfillment of the delivery gap of the previously committed ‘annually USD 100 billion from 2020’, developed countries should accelerate support least developed countries to implement their conditional NDCs to reach the net zero goal by 2050, Operationalize L&D funding, there should be a specific annual funding target, and developed countries should commit to fulfilling this and Public Private Partnership and expected technical and financial cooperation from developed countries is crucial to implement long term plans of developing countries.
Mohammad Arifur Rahman and Mohammad Shahjahan also attended the CJRF (Climate Justice Resilience Fund) partners’ meeting with McAllan, The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition of the Scottish Government on 5th December and shared the progress, challenges and opportunities for implementing the loss and damage initiative in the south-eastern coast of Bangladesh. YPSA officials also attended the meeting of celebration of Development and Climate Days 2013 on 11 December which was the day of conversation, creativity and climate action – the day that Saleemul Huq coined the “inside-out COP”. At the event, the 250 participants questioned accountability, discussed moving to “business unusual”, challenged the status quo, and highlighted the significance of decolonizing climate funding to ensure it reaches those who need it the most. The event included serious exchanges, challenging debates, “spicy” conversations, and some light-hearted moments.