Aligning climate plans for a greater impact

Bangladesh should align its many different plans and goals
related to climate change for a greater impact. PHOTO: REUTERS

By Saleemul Huq
Jan 23 2019 (The Daily Star, Bangladesh)

Bangladesh has a long tradition of national development planning
under the aegis of the General Economics Division (GED) of the
Planning Commission, through the seven Five Year Plans prepared
since we became an independent country. Recently, there have been a
number of additional types of planning which will need to be
well-aligned if we wish to achieve our goal of becoming a
climate-resilient country by 2030. Some of these require
examination and we need to discuss ways to ensure their mutual
alignment going forward.

The first and longest-term one is the recently approved Delta
Plan that has a time horizon up to 2100. Only the Netherlands has
drawn up such a long-term plan and Bangladesh is the second country
in the world to do so. It is more of an aspirational evolution
towards our future development rather than a detailed plan, as the
normal five-year plans will still remain the overriding planning
vehicle, with the next one being the 8th Five Year Plan
(8FYP)—which will start from 2021 onwards.

The second vehicle is to the year 2041 which is a perspective
plan that is supposed to earn Bangladesh the middle-income status
over the next few decades. This will also need to be translated
into five-year segments to feed into the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th
Five Year Plans to be implemented over that time period.

Then we have a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
which have a time horizon of 2030 to be achieved. These goals are
global goals agreed at the level of the United Nations for all
countries to implement at the national level, using common metrics
to measure progress towards each of the 17 goals. In case of
Bangladesh, all 17 SDGs have been mapped onto different lead
ministries and support ministries for each goal by the Planning
Commission. In addition, a high-powered monitoring unit has been
set up at the prime minister’s office to track progress by each
ministry for each of the 17 SDGs.

In addition to these development-oriented goals, there is also a
goal on disaster risk reduction under the global Sendai Framework
which each country is supposed to try to achieve disaster
resilience by 2030. In case of Bangladesh, the lead for this is
assigned to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (DMDR).
There are also civil society and military allies and actors that
are involved in the implementation of this plan.

Finally, there are two climate change related goals agreed
globally under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to be achieved
by 2030. The first goal—which is about mitigation—is to reduce
emissions of Greenhouse Gases that cause climate change so that
global temperatures are kept below 1.5 Degrees Centigrade by
achieving 100 percent reliance on renewable energy in every country
by 2050. The second goal is to achieve transformational adaptation
to the adverse impacts of climate change in every country in order
to make them climate-resilient by 2030. In case of Bangladesh, we
have a number of planning documents under the aegis of the Ministry
of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEFCC).

The first is the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action
Plan (BCCSAP), first prepared in 2009 and now being updated to take
it to 2030. There is another called the Nationally Determined
Contribution (NDC) that every country has to prepare to show how it
will achieve the mitigation goal of the Paris Agreement. The
Bangladesh NDC has pledged to reduce the national emissions of
Greenhouse Gases by 5 percent by 2030, and if we get additional
funding and technology, then we can reduce them by up to 15
percent. Finally, we are about to develop the National Adaptation
Plan (NAP) which every developing country has to prepare to chart
its objective of becoming climate-resilient by 2030.

In addition to these plans and goals, there are also others in
different sectors, such as health, energy, agriculture, and water
development, which are being developed by the respective ministries
and departments.

It is clear from the above discussion that there is a lot of
potential overlaps and lack of synergies unless these are addressed
from the very beginning to ensure that each plan is well-aligned
and linked, where necessary, to the other relevant plan(s). Also,
it is imperative that the Five Year Plans should be the main
vehicles into which all the others will be mainstreamed, starting
with 8FYP which we will have to start developing very soon.

There are three overarching ways in which we can ensure that
such synergies and mainstreaming is effectively achieved over the
coming decades.

The first is to ensure that all the plans are aligned with each
other while the 8FYP is started and developed. This is the
responsibility of each ministry to liaise with the General
Economics Division in the Planning Commission to ensure that the
8FYP receives inputs from all the other plans and goals. It is up
to the GED to lead this process.

The second major action that has to take place is a very robust
monitoring system for all the plans and goals cutting across the
different sectors. This has already been put in place by the prime
minister under her own direction with a well-respected former civil
servant in charge. This is indeed a very good development. In this
connection, it will also be useful to add a section of academics
and researchers so that in addition to simply monitoring progress,
we also have genuine learning-by-doing to inform and improve future
Five Year Plans after 8FYP.

Finally, it is important to recognise that one of the biggest
differences between the past and the future of the country is the
shift from public sources of investment to private sources and also
for the private sector to implement most of the plans. Hence, the
country will have to become better at ensuring a whole-of-society
approach rather than just a whole-of-government one with regard to
both the planning and implementation of all these tasks. Bangladesh
would do well to ensure that we find synergies and alignments among
all the different plans.

Saleemul Huq is Director, International Centre for
Climate Change and Development, Independent University, Bangladesh

This story was
originally published
by The Daily Star, Bangladesh

The post
Aligning climate plans for a greater impact
appeared first on
Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
Aligning climate plans for a greater impact