“The Treaty of Paris Climate Conference, 2015” – Hope for Bangladesh and the World

- Barrister Susmita Rahman


Published On - September 20, 2014 [Vol. 1, Jul - Dec, 2014]

Good climate is our right. We have to raise our voice to ensure our right to good climate by implementing new domestic and international laws to protect the world from global warming. The slogan of 2014 World Environment Day is ‘Raise Your Voice Not the Sea Level’ has focused on the protection of our right to environment. In order to protect our climate right, the extent of domestic laws is growing day by day. Environmental rights are incorporated in more than 100 nationwide constitutions. Proper implementation of environmental law in international and national level became the necessity to prevent global warming now. But in most countries environmental laws are available in book only without of any use. The Kyoto Protocol of 1999 after being effective in 2005 envisaged its first commitment to emissions reduction from 2008 to 2012, and the second commitment period is from 2013 to 2020. The protocol was amended in 2012 to accommodate the second commitment period but this amendment has not entered into legal force.

In Bangladesh around 200 laws are related to this sector which sounds good but its implementation is a pungent reality in promoting environmental justice. The proper use of the fund is not beyond question. Bangladesh is now well recognized as the forerunner of tackling the adverse impacts of climate change. Though Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to the undesirable impact of climate change, Bangladesh is more resilient than other countries. Bangladesh has hosted seventh international conference on Community Based Adaptation (CBA) program and CBA 10 is going to be held in Bangladesh again in 2016. Bangladesh has also created the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan to build its own resilience.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has invited all the member countries in the Climate Change Summit on 23rd September, 2014 to present their action plan to tackle climate change that could be finally incorporated into the Treaty held to be put forward to combat world climate change in Paris Climate Conference 2015. In this Climate Change Summit 2014, Bangladesh being in the position of a promising leader in dealing with the adverse impacts of climate change, should share its knowledge of combating adverse climate with the other countries of the World.  This meeting is the key precursor where the draft of the Paris Treaty will be discussed and secured before the conference in Lima, December 2014.  According to a new ADB report of 2014 the world climate poses an urgent need for increased investment, strengthening institutional capacity, stronger government and private sector policies to manage the impending impacts and consequences of climate change. The report also says that low-lying areas of Bangladesh are highly susceptible to climate change and the country would face annual financial costs equivalent to 2% of its GDP by 2050, widening to 9.4 percent by 2100 if no preventive measure is taken by the world. If the mitigation plan of the world is successfully implemented, those economic losses could be limited to just over 2% by 2100. International agreements are now vital to tackle the adverse effect of climate change and to cut climate change risk all South Asian countries should also take short and long term measures individually. “Just as climate change impacts are accelerating, 2014 needs to be a year of accelerated action and ambition to check the advance of climate change,” the UN Executive Secretary General, Christiana Figueres said.

In Bonn, Germany, 2014 the meeting to be held before the conference in Lima is the first attempt to design how the international treaty looks like to tackle climate change. This international treaty will bind all climate negotiator countries to reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases, is due to be signed off in Paris in 2015 replacing the world’s most important treaty, Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The agreement basically needs to work out on how the signatory countries organize the finance and technology support in combating the inevitable impact of climate change. Christiana Figueres said ‘At the ADP meeting in Bonn, nations can learn from each other how best to fast track, scale up and accelerate a transition to a low carbon economy that will help make Paris 2015 the success, it needs to be seven billion people, rising to more than nine billion by 2050.” She also added “Most of the negotiated content of the Paris agreement needs to be ready by COP 20 in Lima; we need to reach a common understanding of how individual components of this new agreement will operate for that to happen.”

Who should take the burden of the emissions reductions is the disputed question among the signatory countries and such disputes lead to the making of the Paris Treaty 2015 difficult and controversial. To avoid the controversy of preparing the agreement it is vital to make an early draft of the climate change treaty. The UN is hopeful that a draft agreement will be ready on the table before the end of this year in Lima, Peru for further discussion. By the first quarter of 2015 the countries agreed to submit their contribution towards the final treaty at last year’s meeting in Warsaw. In the meeting of Bonn, Germany the countries that have already advanced their preliminary strategy got a good opportunity to show the other countries where they stand.

It is more important to have a worldwide effort to implement adaptable national legislation than the record of a particular country, even the United States. A recent study by the Institute for Climate Impact Research states that U.S. policies is not enough to meet the declared goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020, compared to the reduction levels of 2005. In accordance with Fegueres, Obama administration should implement a range of executive orders to embark upon climate change instead of pushing climate change legislation all the way through Congress. The Obama administration has set fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and is also working on new power plants regulations.

To avert the worst effect of climate change the world needs to accelerate its efforts to meet the climate change goals. The rich and poor countries for years are accusing one another of failing to reach a clear climate negotiation. The government of the signatories is to be more cautious and serious to implement a groundbreaking global warming Treaty in Paris 2015 to cover up the resonant failure of the Copenhagen Climate Change Convention in 2009.  All the signatory countries have promised to engage in a very serious work out plan which leads up to the successful draft of this agreement or at least the elements of a final treaty by 2014. In line with the UN Executive Secretary it can be submitted that a particular process is the burning need for the world now to get to the Paris Climate Change Agreement 2015 to evade the hassle of going to France with 300 pages of text. Figueres said, “Of course, the ideal scenario would be for every single of the 191 countries to come with legislation in 2015. Is that realistic? No, that is not realistic” she added, “What is important here is to very quickly for each country (to do the) maximum they can do. There is no country doing its maximum.”

Now, the world can be hopeful by the end of the Paris Climate Conference for the first time in over 20 years of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, from the biggest to smallest emitters of greenhouse gases will be bound to follow the universal 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

About The Writer

Article Author Image

Barrister Susmita Rahman

Advocate, Bangladesh Supreme Court

PGDL, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK,
LL.B (University of London), UK,
LL.M (Northumbria University), UK,
Bar-at-Law (Lincoln’s Inn), UK



Welcome To "Law Journal BD"

Rafiqul Haque

“Law Journal BD” is a timely and innovative step towards the growth and development of law. The Journal is a combination of articles from experts which will broaden the scope of our legal instrument and jurisprudence. I sincerely hope the initiative will help the lawyers to be more informed & committed to struggle for justice. It would be more appropriate to consider it as a work of compilation of contributions from various jurists, practitioners and academicians. The “Law Journal BD” publishes articles on all aspects of law.

I deeply appreciate the efforts of the Editor and the whole team of “Law Journal BD”. It is a great contribution to Bangladesh judiciary. The journal publishes articles on all areas of law and I believe the articles will be very helpful to researchers, legal scholars, practitioners, law consultants and moreover to Law students. I am really thankful to both , who are contributing their valuable articles for publication and who are reading the articles for enhancing knowledge of law.

Thanks to all the readers of “Law Journal BD”.

Barrister Rafique - Ul Huq

Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh

Chief Advisor, “Law Journal BD”

Mahfuzur Rahman

The “Law Journal BD” is the first Online Law journal in Bangladesh which specifically publishes law articles only. You will find here different kind of research based articles on various Law topics. The primary function of the journal is to publish lengthy comprehensive treatments of articles generally written by law academicians, Judges, or legal practitioners. A significant feature is that the distinguished writers analyze judicial decisions, contemporary developments of law, legislation and current law reform.

The important features of the journal are the sections of Book Review and Biography of renowned person in legal field. The articles are published as a six months volume & then it will be found in the “Previous Publications” section. The “Law Journal BD” has the efficient team of learned advisors and experienced team of editors. All articles are subjected to a rigorous editorial process in order to strengthen substance, polish tone and ensure citation accuracy.

We thank you sincerely for reading “Law Journal BD”.

Barrister Md. Mahfuzur Rahman (Milon)

Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh

Editor, “Law Journal BD”