Dhaka, Aug 29: Saying that Bangladesh’s climate adaptation endeavor is an example for the world to follow, the UK’s International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith has stressed the need to work with Bangladesh to tackle climate change.
“Developing countries like Bangladesh are the hardest hit by climate change… the work taking place here (Bangladesh) to help adapt to its impacts and build resilience is an example for the world to follow,” he said, BSS reported.
He was paying a ‘virtual visit’ to Bangladesh on August 25, to see need for the UK to help the country build adaptation and resilience to climate change, a press release issued by British High Commission here said today.
Next year, the UK will host the UN climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow with its partner Italy while Bangladesh is holding the presidency of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance for the term 2020-2022.
“As COP26 Presidents, we are encouraging countries to come forward with ambitious visions to put nature-based solutions at the heart of plans to tackle climate change,” said the UK minister.
The UK is proud to support Bangladesh’s adaptation efforts to face adverse effects of global warming, he added.
Lord Goldsmith virtually met with Saima Wazed Hossain, who has been newly appointed as one of the Thematic Ambassadors of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) with a focus on ‘vulnerability’.
During the meeting, they explored the opportunity for the forum to play a role in raising global ambition on adaptation and resilience at COP26.
Saima, also daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is an expert on neurodevelopment disorders and mental health, and an accomplished speaker and author.
Lord Goldsmith also met with State Minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid and discussed Bangladesh’s increasing demand for reliable energy, and the potential to replace coal with renewable energy generation.
The UK minister also met Abul Kalam Azad, special envoy to the Bangladesh’s CVF Presidency and Professor Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, which is working with Oxford University to encourage the integration of nature-based solutions in Bangladesh.
“They had useful discussions to learn about how we can work together both locally and internationally as a joint force for good in tackling climate change, and helping the world build back greener from the COVID pandemic,” British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson said about the visit.
He said the UK and Bangladesh have key roles to play together in leading global efforts to tackle it as COP26 and CVF Chairs.
During the visit, the UK’s minister also saw the impact of climate change in Bangladesh, on agriculture, health and livelihoods, as increased flooding in both rural and urban areas is displacing people from their homes.
Lord Goldsmith discussed ways in which nature-based solutions – working with, rather than against, nature – can help overcome these challenges.
Bangladesh, located on the delta of three major rivers and with a dense population, is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change.
More than 70 percent of the population is exposed to cyclones, and the resulting economic impact is significant.
The UK has supported Bangladesh in its efforts to adapt to and build resilience against climate shocks, including by giving 27 million people in the country access to early warning systems for floods and cyclones and protecting 40,000 hectares of cultivable land against monsoon flooding, said the release.