The world leaders are gathering in Egypt for international climate talks known as COP27. In this climate talks, there will be global climate politics, diplomacy and thus negotiations. There will be several groups around the talks and thus would try to protect their narrowly defined group interest rather than the interest of the earth or the most vulnerable countries to climate change. In this context, this short piece highlights the role of Bangladesh in global climate platform including the COP 27 climate conference.
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and by 2050, with a projected 50cm rise in sea level, Bangladesh may lose approximately 11% of its land, affecting an estimated 15 million people living in its low-lying coastal region. Thus, climate change is a grave concern for the country. However, Bangladesh has been successfully confronted the impacts of climate change. Consequently, in 2015, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received the United Nations Champion of the Earth award for her “outstanding leadership on the frontline of climate change.”
In paving the way for an ambitious national climate change adaptation policy, Bangladesh has become a model to follow for other vulnerable countries. It has thus gained a “first-mover advantage” in the international climate change arena, in the form of greater international visibility and authority. Bangladesh government was the first, with Mauritania, to submit its National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2005. Over the years, Bangladesh has been playing the role of moral leadership in global climate change negotiations by pressurizing the industrialized countries to consider their special needs and vulnerabilities and to legitimize their claims for finance and technology transfers. Bangladesh has put the issue of ‘climate migration’, ‘loss and damage’ on the agenda of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties.
– Dr. Md. Shariful Islam is an Assistant Professor in International Relations at the University of Rajshahi. He is also an adjunct research fellow at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA), Dhaka, Bangladesh.