Bangladesh is a global leader on adapting to a changing climate and invested more than $6 billion dollars into adaptation activities since 2016, says British High Commission in Dhaka
Bangladesh has sought support from the UK and other developed countries to ensure concessional finance and access to technology for all developing countries, and LDCs, especially due to the unprecedented socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.
“We need another fund for climate migrants. Each year hundreds and thousands of people are being uprooted from their homes… country governments alone cannot cope with the costs of rehabilitation. Therefore, the global leadership could come forward to create another climate migrant fund,” said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.
He was addressing an event titled UK-Bangladesh Climate Partnership Forum, which was held virtually on Wednesday night.
In its role as president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Bangladesh will be representing more than 1.2 billion people living in 48 of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries at COP26.
As one of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, Bangladesh has experienced the firsthand devastating impact it can have on people, the environment and the economy, said the British High Commission in Dhaka on Thursday.
The country has become a global leader on adapting to a changing climate and since 2016 has invested more than $6 billion dollars into adaptation activities, it said.
The UK is already a key partner to Bangladesh on disaster management and resilience building.
Since 2008, the UK and Bangladesh jointly helped over 27 million people gain access to early warning systems for floods and cyclones, and provided emergency assistance and recovery support after disasters to more than 900,000 people.
COP26 President Designate Alok Sharma, MP explored how the UK and Bangladesh can work together to tackle climate change by highlighting three critical issues: getting finance flowing; improving the quality of that finance and increasing sums for adaptation; and making finance more accessible.
He highlighted practical ways to address those issues and noted that the UK has itself committed £11.6bn for international climate finance (over the next 6 financial years) and is advocating for other donors to make commitments, too.
Sharma said he hoped to visit Bangladesh in person as soon as possible, in order to witness firsthand the inspiring work Bangladesh was already doing to tackle the most critical climate challenges of our time.
Dr Momen reaffirmed the commitment of the government of Bangladesh to build resilience to tackle climate change.
He also sought the UK’s cooperation in making finance more accessible to build resilience and amplify climate actions. Apart from financing, the minister stressed the need for transfer of technology, expertise and other relevant assistance to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The UK-Bangladesh Climate Partnership Forum virtual series has been chaired by Professor Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCAD), and Simon Maxwell, senior research associate at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor of the central bank of Bangladesh (2009-2016), shared Bangladesh’s experiences in developing sustainable finance systems.
Bob Buhr, Research Fellow, Centre for Climate Finance & Investment, Imperial College Business School and Professor of Practice, explored ways to unlock solutions within capital markets to address the challenges posed by global climate change.
Besides, case studies on global climate finance, funding models and finance mechanisms to deliver nature-based solutions in Greater Manchester were shared by Prof Mizan R Khan, deputy director, ICCCAD and program director, LUCCC, and Sam Evans, head of natural environment, Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
The session was opened by Judith Herbertson, Bangladesh Development Director at the British High Commission in Dhaka.
The event concluded with remarks from Saida Muna Tasneem, Bangladeshi High Commissioner to the UK.
Alok Sharma said climate finance is a central priority for the COP26 Presidency and as hosts they are calling on all donors to increase their finance commitments and play their part in delivering on shared $100bn goal.
“Events like today’s UK-Bangladesh Climate Partnership Forum serve as important reminders of the challenges faced by many countries of the impact of the climate crisis,” he said.
"It’s vital that those who can should step up support to help countries reduce emissions and adapt to the rising impacts of climate change.”
The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021.
The climate talks will be the biggest international summit the UK has ever hosted; bringing together over 30,000 delegates, including heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.