Dhaka’s New Climate Action Plans Offer Blueprint for a Greener Future

The Climate Action Plans (CAPs) for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) were released on May 12, 2024, marking a significant leap in the city’s journey towards achieving sustainable development and climate resilience.

The momentous event was held at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka,  and was hosted jointly by the DNCC, DSCC, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia (ICLEI South Asia).

ICLEI South Asia was the technical partner for the development of the CAPs in collaboration with C40. The CAPs outline seven priority sectors and 26 strategies to reach 21 targets of the two City Corporations.

Key stakeholders, government dignitaries, and climate experts attended the event, which was graced by Honourable Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Saber Hossain Chowdhury; Honourable Mayor of DSCC Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh; Honourable Mayor of DNCC and Steering Committee Member of C40 Md. Atiqul Islam; Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka, Prof. Dr. A. S. M. Maksud Kamal; Executive Director, C40, Mark Watts; and Deputy Secretary-General of ICLEI and Executive Director of ICLEI South Asia Emani Kumar.

The event began with Shruti Narayan, Managing Director of Regions and Mayoral Engagement at C40, speaking about the process of developing a CAP in her welcome address. This was followed by Mr. Emani Kumar underscoring the importance of collective action in addressing climate change. He highlighted Bangladesh’s efforts in policy, governance, and systemic transformations to enhance community resilience and pursue a sustainable, net-zero emissions pathway. The DNCC and DSCC CAPs exemplify proactive measures in global climate change efforts, outlining specific actions for sustainable urban development, energy efficiency, and low-carbon transport to achieve a climate-resilient future by 2050.

During a session on “Pathways towards a Climate-Resilient Dhaka”, Fatima Kabir Sharna, Assistant Urban Planner at DSCC, and Farzana Bobi, Assistant Town Planner at DNCC, presented the city’s ambitious climate commitments. They highlighted the focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency, promoting sustainable waste management, and enhancing resilience to climate impacts. After that, Mr. Jubaer Rashid, ICLEI South Asia Bangladesh’s Country Representative, presented an overview of the CAPs, including their key objectives, sectorial strategies, actions, governance structure and the CAP framework.

Honourable Minister Mr Saber Hossain Chowdhury launched the CAP report jointly with the two city mayors. He reaffirmed his full support for the CAPs and pledged to work closely with all stakeholders to achieve the ambitious goals for a greener future. Mr Taposh, the DSCC Mayor, emphasised the importance of taking action on CAPs, as climate change is causing a major humanitarian crisis. Mr Atiqul Islam, the DNCC Mayor, highlighted the need for localised mitigation and resilience strategies. The two mayors expressed their commitment to allocating a specific budget for implementing the CAPs every year.

Mr Watts from C40 acknowledged Dhaka’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis. Antha Williams, from Bloomberg Philanthropies, spoke about the global significance of Dhaka’s CAPs and the role of cities in climate innovation. Sadiq Khan, Honourable Mayor of London and C40 Co-Chair, congratulated Dhaka on its leadership and emphasised the importance of international collaboration at the CAP launch.


Strategic Panel Discussions

After the launch of the CAPs, two insightful panel discussions took place, focusing on climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and inclusive climate resilience efforts in Dhaka.

The strategic panel on “Climate mitigation and adaptation – Implementing action in cities” was moderated by Mr. Emani Kumar. The discussion focused on partnerships, capacity strengthening, financial allocation, youth engagement for innovative solutions, and local and national integration. The panel included eminent speakers from the DNCC and the DSCC, the social sector, and international organisations like GIZ and the Asian Development Bank. There were in-depth discussions on intersectionality, youth and climate, the impact of climate change on female migrants, and the rise in child marriages despite educational advances. The panel highlighted the need for greater youth engagement and the possibility of a ‘climate allowance’ for vulnerable communities to foster climate justice. Integrating climate change into the master plan can make it a legally binding and easily implementable document for city corporations. Enhancing local government capacities and resources is essential for effective climate action implementation.

There were strategic panel discussions on implementing climate strategies in the city and ensuring inclusivity in climate resilience efforts. They emphasised the incorporation of climate considerations into urban planning, financing mechanisms for climate action, enhancement of project implementation capacity, the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalised communities, the importance of community engagement, the need for integrated solutions, and the potential of data and technology to increased climate resilience. The need for cooperation and partnerships between sectors was also highlighted. After the session, the CEOs of the two city corporations thanked the participants for their active involvement in the CAP launch event.

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