ISSN 2330-717X

Bangladesh’s Climate Diplomacy – OpEd

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The Covid-19 pandemic in tandem with the climate change emergency is set to inflict one most devastating human tragedies in the course of humanity. Evidently, the globe is on the road to tackle the pandemic first, however, we must not forget that we also need to tackle the second at the same time. In this regard, the imminent major opportunity to tackle the climate change emergency will be at the first-ever virtual V20 Climate Vulnerables Finance Summit, 2021. Scheduled on July 8, the first-ever virtual V20 Climate Vulnerables Finance Summit, hosted by Bangladesh is set to be a key milestone event in the arena of climate diplomacy. Thus, the 48 member group of V-20’s official press release reiterates its commitment, “In close cooperation with the United Nations, the IMF and key development partners, this high-level dialogue will shape globally cooperative responses to ensure fast-tracked resilience building efforts to overcome the new realities of tandem climate and COVID pressures through bold new actions and partnerships.”

The V20 Group of Finance Ministers, which was formed in 2015, is a dedicated cooperation initiative to mobilize robust economic and finance responses to the spiraling crisis that increasingly affects the world’s most vulnerable economies.  Over the years, V20 and CVF platforms have become the standout diplomatic maneuvers for inter-governmental cooperation to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and raise the voices of the most vulnerable countries in the global climate regimes. Evidently, in this regard, the host of the first-ever virtual V20 Climate Vulnerables Finance Summit – Bangladesh, has emerged as a global leader in the realms of climate diplomacy.Hence, it is widely acknowledged that Bangladesh, as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Ministers of Finance, is expected to play a leading role in COP-26 to raise the concerns of the ‘voices of the voiceless’. 

Bangladesh has endeavored significant strides towards making the best use of diplomatic platforms to address the concerns of climate change and environmental issues. Despite being a climate-prone nation with resource constraints, Bangladesh, over the years, has emerged as a global role model on climate diplomacy. On per official documents, every year Government of Bangladesh is spending about $5 billion, about 2.5% of the GDP, on climate adaptation, mitigation, and resilience-building measures. During this year, Bangladesh adopted the ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’ and, accordingly, Bangladesh is planting 30 million saplings nationwide Plan’ to materialize its ambition for low-carbon economic growth. Bangladesh is one of the forerunner countries that establish ‘Climate Change Trust Fund’ and formulated the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) to respond to the wraths of climate change prudently.  Therefore, it is no difficult to understand why Bangladesh is heralded as a ‘resilient’ nation on global platforms. One of the acknowledgements of such success stories of Bangladesh is manifested in 2015 with the recognition of UNEP, where Bangladeshi Premier Sheikh Hasina was awarded the United Nation’s highest environmental accolade “Champions of Earth” for addressing climate change with far-sighted resilient initiatives.

In the global arena, Bangladesh takes pride for being a founding member of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) founded in 2009. More importantly, The V20 combines the economies of more than 1.2 billion people with some of the consistently highest growth rates in the world yet facing existential threats from the growing perils of climate change and global warming. Therefore, V20 members aim to check the global warming to below 1.5°C.  Simultaneously, the forum cooperates to maintain the growth trajectory of the world economy. Since then, CVF remarkably becomes the flagship international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to global warming. As CVF chair during 2011-2013, Bangladesh’s Leadership for Climate Vulnerable nations was much appreciated previously. During its tenure, the forum successfully managed to uphold itself as a vibrant platform of South-South cooperation of the member states to act together to deal with climate emergency and global warming. Over the last decade, CVF and V-20 emerged as significant players in the arena of climate diplomacy. These climate forums of the most vulnerable nations have consistently pursued negotiation with developed countries to reduce carbon emission in to materialize their promises into practices.

In sum, there is a high tide of expectations among the global community that the first-ever V-20 Climate Vulnerables Finance Summit, chaired by Bangladesh, is set to take new collaborative strategies with bold actions to address the new realities of climate change and global warming amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Hassan Ahmed Shovon is an independent researcher. He graduated from Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka. He is interested inPolitical Theory; Theories of International Relations; South Asian Politics; Religion and Culture; Tolerance and Terrorism; Climate Diplomacy; Foreign Policy Analysis; Strategic Studies; International Political Economy; Politics of Development; Refugee and Migration; Women and Environment.Hecan be reached at [email protected]

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