Bangladesh: From a Climate Victim to the Climate Leader

 Syed Ashikur Rhaman

Lecturer, Department of International Relations, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh


Bangladesh has registered great success in global climate diplomacy by abandoning its passivity and dependence syndrome as a climate victim. What criteria did Bangladesh fulfil to reckon with as a climate leader? Is such iteration self-proclaimed rhetoric, or can it be supported by theoretical and empirical findings? This article investigates these questions by adopting a leadership framework and scrutinizing Bangladesh’s role in climate change adaptation, mitigation, negotiation, and knowledge creation. This article reveals that Bangladesh is now acting as an emerging climate leader in the global climate arena. Bangladesh provides unilateral leadership in climate issues through establishing ‘good examples’ in inspiring others to follow the pathway by drafting multiple domestic climate policies such as the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA), Climate Change Trust Fund, Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan, etc. In addition, Bangladesh assists other climate-vulnerable countries by sharing ideas, knowledge, practice and invention in climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience and acts as an intellectual leader. Finally, in climate change negotiations, Bangladesh performs as a problem-solving leader on behalf of the Least Developed Countries. Bangladesh’s image as a robust actor with a timely response to climate issues turns it into a legitimate voice on global platforms. Therefore, this article concludes that calling Bangladesh a climate leader is not rhetoric as it shows robust performance in several leadership modes to solve this global collective action problem.

Keywords: Bangladesh, Climate Leader, Adaptation, Mitigation, Negotiation, Sheikh Hasina.


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