COP28 President-Designate, Prime Minister of Bangladesh call for world’s most vulnerable to be placed at heart of climate action

DHAKA, 20th July, 2023 (WAM) — Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and COP28 President-Designate, met with the Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, as he continued his discussions with global leaders to focus on delivering for COP28.

Following his speech in Brussels last week, he continued to share his core action agenda to fast-track a just energy transition; fix climate finance; focus on people, lives and livelihoods; and underpin everything with full inclusivity.

The President-Designate and the Prime Minister jointly committed to working constructively in the lead up to COP28 to protect the world’s most vulnerable communities. As a former Chair of the V20-CVF countries, a global forum dedicated to support economies systemically vulnerable to climate change, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pledged to work in partnership with the COP28 President-Designate over the coming months.

Prime Minister Hasina commended the COP28 President-Designate for placing food systems at the heart of climate discussions. They also discussed climate finance, including the need for international financial institutions (IFI) and multilateral development banks (MDB) reform to attract more private finance, the importance of ensuring the $100 billion commitment from donor countries is met and the imperative to operationalise the fund for Loss and Damage.

Dr. Al Jaber acknowledged Prime Minister Hasina’s leadership on food and agriculture innovation and that Bangladesh had been a role model for climate adaptation.

Prime Minister Hasina agreed to champion the food agenda of COP28 and underscored how crucial food systems transformation and agricultural innovation is to sustainable development.

Prime Minister Hasina said, ‘‘I welcome COP28’s focus on lives and livelihoods and putting people at the centre of climate action, in particular the focus on food systems transformation.

"I hope that COP28 will make a realistic assessment of the progress made and close the huge gaps that remain in climate finance and technology transfer.

“As a fellow advocate for the climate vulnerable, I hope that under the strong leadership of Dr Sultan, COP28 will progress operationalising Loss and Damage Fund in line with COP27 agreement.”

The COP28 President-Designate called on Bangladesh to continue sharing its innovative climate solutions, such as renewable energy targets and global preparedness, with other vulnerable countries.

Following the meeting, Dr. Al Jaber said, “Bangladesh is very aware of the urgency of the need to address climate change, as it faces from heatwaves to floods. And while Bangladesh contributes only 0.25 percent of global emissions, the country’s goal of 40 percent clean energy by 2040 shows real leadership.

“I commend the vital work that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has done to advocate for climate vulnerable communities on the international stage and I am delighted to be partnering with the Prime Minister to supercharge climate, social and economic solutions.”

Prime Minister Hasina expressed Bangladesh’s full support for the COP28 Presidency and confidence in the COP28 President Designate as a convenor of the multilateral climate process.

After the meeting, Dr. Al Jaber co-chaired a roundtable on climate action, where he emphasised the need to keep 1.5 within reach. The roundtable was hosted by AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister and Md Shahab Uddin, Minister of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

During his visit in Dhaka, Dr Al Jaber also met with Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Bangladesh Special Envoy for Climate Change. The COP28 President-Designate met students from Dhaka Residential Model College, where he planted a tree, and commended them on their pioneering work to sustainably increase crop production through the use of microorganisms.

Dr. Al Jaber was then welcomed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Shahrayar Alam, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs where he delivered a special address to an audience of university students from Dhaka University and met with winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize

Whilst there, he also met with Bangladesh-based COP28 International Climate Youth Delegates, alongside winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, including Dipal Barua, the inaugural winner of the prize, Founder and Chairman of Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF), SOLshare and LEDARS Bangladesh.

During his remarks, Dr Al Jaber said, "If we are going to make transformational progress, we need an unconventional approach that includes all sectors of society to work in solidarity on the solutions we need.”

COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from 30th November until 12th December, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.

As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.