British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson on Monday said Bangladesh and the United Kingdom (UK) can form a great partnership to lead global efforts to tackle climate change noting that climate change is the defining issue of their time.
"Our combined expertise and leadership mean we can work together to raise the world’s ambition before and during COP26, seeking global commitment on adapting to climate impacts and building resilience for the future," he said.
The High Commissioner was addressing a discussion at his residence in the evening.
The British High Commission in Bangladesh invited government, academic and civil society representation to the High Commissioner’s residence to convey the UK’s ambition for this year’s UN climate change conference (COP 26) and its growing collaboration with Bangladesh for advancing the climate agenda towards COP 26 and beyond.
High Commissioner Dickson opened the discussion by reflecting on the global outcomes of COP25 and setting out the UK ambition for COP26.
Ziaul Hasan, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Point for Bangladesh, delivered the keynote speech.
Ziaul Hasan was joined by four distinguished participants of COP25: Sultana Afroz, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, Dr Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCAD) and Adviser to the Least Developed Countries Group in UNFCCC; Mohammed Malik, Infrastructure Development Company Ltd.; Sharaban Tahura Zaman, Lecturer, Department of Law, North South University, and LDCs group negotiator at COP25.
The panellists reflected on the process and outcomes of COP25, the journey to COP26, and opportunities for the UK and Bangladesh to raise global ambition to reduce the emissions gap.
DFID Country Representative Judith Herbertson, delivered the closing remarks on UK-Bangladesh cooperation beyond COP26.
She said that DFID is planning a new programme to support adaptation to, and mitigation of, climate change as well as environmental management in Bangladesh.
”Our vision is that through our partnership and our programming, we can show what can be done to clean up growth and build resilience across the country; and share this expertise with other countries.”
The United Kingdom, in partnership with Italy, will host COP 26 this year in November in Glasgow.
More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the conference, including heads of state and government; experts; and campaigners.
Delegates will be discussing ambitious ways in which the world can lower emissions to keep global temperatures below 1.5 degrees of warming.
While the UK is gearing up for the presidency of COP26, Bangladesh is advancing its preparation to lead the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Locally-Led Adaptation Action Track of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA). And leading up to COP26, the UK intends to build a stronger partnership with countries like Bangladesh; a vulnerable country but increasingly resilient to climate impacts. As the leading voice against climate impacts, Bangladesh can play a more significant role in the global climate change discourse through COP 26.
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.
Environmental experts, diplomats and government officials at the discussion roundtable discussion called for stronger cooperation between the UK and Bangladesh for a successful climate conference.
They also said Bangladesh has already demonstrated its strong willingness need to improve in how it implements the climate action plans.