Amplifying Climate Actions

Bangladesh seeks UK co-op

Diplomatic Correspondent

6 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh has sought support from UK and other developed countries for ensuring 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 AK Abdul Momen.

As one of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, Bangladesh has experienced first-hand the devastating impact it can have on people, the environment and the economy, he said. 

“The country has become a global leader in adapting to a changing climate and since 2016 has invested more than $6 billion dollars into adaptation activities,” Momen said while addressing the UK-Bangladesh Climate Partnership Forum virtual event held on Wednesday.

The UK is already a key partner to Bangladesh on disaster management and resilience building. Since 2008, 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.

The Bangladesh foreign minister reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Bangladesh to build resilience to tackle climate change.

He also sought the UK’s cooperation for making finance more accessible to build resilience and amplify climate actions.  Apart from financing, Momen stressed on transfer of technology, expertise and other relevant assistance to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Speaking on the occasion, COP26 President Designate Alok Sharma 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 first-hand the inspiring work Bangladesh was already doing to tackle the most critical climate challenges of our time.

“Climate finance is a central priority for the COP26 Presidency and as hosts we are calling on all donors to increase their finance commitments and play their part in delivering on our shared $100bn goal.  It is 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-Bangladesh Climate Partnership Forum virtual series has been chaired by Prof 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).

Launched last November, this virtual series was designed to build on the growing collaboration between the UK and Bangladesh in advancing the climate agenda in the run-up to COP26, the UN’s climate change conference, later in 2021.

On March 3’s final session of the series, Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor of the central bank of Bangladesh, shared Bangladesh’s experiences in developing sustainable finance systems.

Prof Bob Buhr of Imperial College London explored ways to unlock solutions within capital markets to address the challenges posed by global climate change.

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, Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK.