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.
Read Pdf Here: Bangladesh: From a Climate Victim to the Climate LeaderReferences: Ahmed, A., Alam, M., & Rahman, A. (1999). Adaptation to climate change in Bangladesh: Future outlook. In Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change for Bangladesh (pp. 125–143). New York: Kluwer Academic. Anik, S. I., & Khan, M. A. S. A. (2012). Climate change adaptation through local knowledge in the north eastern region of Bangladesh. Mitigation and Adaption Strategies for Global Change, 17, 879–896. https://doi.org/10.1007/ s11027-011-9350-6 Asia Society. (2012, September 26). Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Remarks on Climate Change. https://asiasociety.org/new-york/bangladeshiprime-minister-sheikh-hasinas-remarks-climate-change Ayers, J. M., & Huq, S. (2009). The Value of Linking Mitigation and Adaptation: A Case Study of Bangladesh. Environmental Management, 43(5), 753–764. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-008-9223-2 Baillat, A. (2018a). From vulnerability to weak power: Bangladesh in the fight against climate change. Revue Internationale Et Stratégique, 109(1), 171–180. Baillat, A. (2018b, January). Bangladesh as a weak power climate leader. Key Note Speaker presented at the 4th Gobeshona Conference, Dhaka. www.icccad.net/ programmes/gobeshona/gobeshona4/bangladesh-as-a-weak-power-climateleader/#:~:text=Bangladesh%20is%20a%20Weak%20Power,a%20strong%20 expertise%20on%20adaptation. Baky, Md. A. H., Rahman, Md. M., & Islam, A. K. M. S. (2017). Development of renewable energy sector in Bangladesh: Current status and future potentials. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 73, 1184–1197. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.rser.2017.02.047 Chowdhury, B. H. (2021, November 11). PM Hasina’s earnest call for action at COP26. The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/views/opinion/news/ pm-hasinas-earnest-call-action-cop26-2226826 Climate Vulnerable Forum. (2011, November 14). Dhaka High Level Meeting. Climate Vulnerable Forum. https://thecvf.org/events/dhaka-high-level-meeting/ Climate Vulnerable Forum. (2020, June 12). Bangladesh as chair of climate vulnerable nations’ forum calls for resilient recovery. https://thecvf.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/06/CVF-Presidency-Annoucement-from-BangladeshFinal.pdf Cooke, K. (2018, October 28). To combat climate change, Bangladesh is the example to follow. Oxford Policy Management website: https://www.opml.co.uk/blog/ combat-climate-change-bangladesh-example-to-follow Dhaka Tribune. (2020, December 12). PM urges developed nations to fulfil climate pledges. https://archive.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/foreignaffairs/2020/12/12/pm-urges-developed-nations-to-fulfil-climate-pledges Dion, J., Murphy, D., Harris, M., & Sawyer, D. (2012). Low-Carbon, ClimateResilient Development NAMA Concepts for Bangladesh. International Institute for Sustainable Development. International Institute for Sustainable Development website: https://www.biopasos.com/biblioteca/8v%20nama_ concepts_bangladesh.pdf Eckstein, D., Künzel, V., Schäfer, L., & Winges, M. (2019). Global climate risk index 2020 (pp. 1–42). Bonn: Germanwatch. Fawzy, S., Osman, A. I., Doran, J., & Rooney, D. W. (2020). Strategies for mitigation of climate change: A review. Environmental Chemistry Letters, 18(6), 2069–2094. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10311-020-01059-w Fisher, B., Nakicenovic, N., Alfsen, K., Morlot, J. C., Chesnaye, F. de la, Hourcade, J.-C., … Warren, R. (2007). Issues related to mitigation in the long-term context. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change (pp. 170–250). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/ CBO9780511546013 Forsyth, T. (2013). Community based adaptation: A review of past and future challenges. WIREs Clim Change, 4(5), 439–446. https://doi.org/10.1002/ wcc.231 Füssel, H. (2007). Vulnerability: A generally applicable conceptual framework for climate change research. Global Environmental Change, 17(2), 155–167. Gomes, W. (2019, December 17). Sheikh Hasina in Copenhagen: Bangladesh, “most vulnerable” to climate change. Asia News. https://www.asianews.it/news-en/ Sheikh-Hasina-in-Copenhagen:-Bangladesh,-most-vulnerable-to-climatechange-17146.html Government of Bangladesh. (2002). Initial National Communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (pp. 1–170). Dhaka: Ministry of Environment and Forest. Ministry of Environment and Forest website: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/ bgdnc1.pdf Government of Bangladesh. (2009). Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP). Dhaka: Ministry of Environment and Forest. Ministry of Environment and Forest website: http://nda.erd.gov.bd/files/1/Publications/ CC%20Policy%20Documents/BCCSAP2009.pdf Government of Bangladesh. (2010). National 3R strategy for waste management. Dhaka: Ministry of Environment and Forest. Ministry of Environment and Forest website: http://www.doe.gov.bd/site/publications/322bf6c9-e23e-401f864a-73efb078cd29/National-3R-Strategy-for-Waste-Management Government of Bangladesh. (2012). Second National Communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (pp. 1–242). Dhaka: Ministry of Environment and Forest. Ministry of Environment and Forest website: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/bgdnc2.pdf Government of Bangladesh. (2018). Third National Communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (pp. 1–259). Dhaka: Ministry of Environment and Forest. Ministry of Environment and Forest website: https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/TNC%20 Report%20%28Low%20Resolation%29%2003_01_2019.pdf Government of Bangladesh. (2020). Nationally Determined Contributions 2020 (Interim) (pp. 1–13). Dhaka: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change website: https://www4.unfccc.int/sites/ndcstaging/PublishedDocuments/ Bangladesh%20First/Updated_NDC_of_Bangladesh.pdf Hasina, S. (2021, October 18). Bangladesh PM: We need a global ‘climate prosperity plan’ not empty pledges. The Financial Time. https://www.ft.com/ content/67b17114-5503-4db6-a49a-7b8b21355344 Huq, S. (2018, December 5). Understanding the art of negotiation at COP24. The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/politics-climate-change/ news/understanding-the-art-negotiation-cop24-1669099 Huq, S. (2020, March 3). Bangladesh has an opportunity to be a world leader in climate change. The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/politicsclimate-change/news/bangladesh-has-opportunity-be-world-leader-climatechange-1901974 Huq, S. (2022a, March 28). Bangladesh’s role in the climate change negotiations. The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/politics-climate-change/ bangladeshs-role-the-climate-change-negotiations-1315795 Huq, S. (2022b, March 30). Bangladesh moves up the climate change knowledge ladder. The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/op-ed/politics/ bangladesh-moves-the-climate-change-knowledge-ladder-201346 Huq, S., & Rabbani, G. (2011). Climate Change and Bangladesh: Policy and Institutional Development to reduce vulnerability. Journal Of Bangladesh Studies, 13, 1–10. Islam, M. T. (2018, March 31). Climate negotiations: How does Bangladesh fare? Retrieved March 30, 2022, from LSE Blog website: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/ southasia/2018/03/31/climate-negotiations-how-does-bangladesh-fare/ Islam, M. T. (2021, October 11). COP26 and Bangladesh: Time to Consolidate Climate Diplomacy. SOAS Blog website: https://study.soas.ac.uk/cop26- bangladesh-climate-diplomacy/ Islam, S., & Khan, Md. Z. R. (2017). A Review of Energy Sector of Bangladesh. Energy Procedia, 110, 611–618. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.193 Kakakhel, K. (2015, March 27). Bangladesh’s contribution to the climate change solution. Dhaka Tribune. https://www.dhakatribune.com/articles/tribunesupplements/tribune-climate Karlsson, C., Hjerpe, M., Parker, C., & Linnér, B.-O. (2012). The Legitimacy of Leadership in International Climate Change Negotiations. AMBIO, 41(S1), 46–55. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-011-0240-7 Kazi, S. (2020, November 12). Bangladesh’s 50 years journey to climate resilience. Retrieved February 22, 2022, from World Bank Blogs website: https://blogs. worldbank.org/endpovertyinsouthasia/bangladeshs-50-years-journey-climateresilience Khan, M. R. (2022, March 30). Climate Negotiations Under Unfccc: An effective platform for branding Bangladesh. The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar. net/environment/climate-change/news/effective-platform-brandingbangladesh-1845088 Malnes, R. (1995). `Leader’ and `Entrepreneur’ in International Negotiations: A Conceptual Analysis. European Journal of International Relations, 1(1), 87–112. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354066195001001005 McGrath, M. (2021, November 2). Climate change: Five dealmakers who will influence the outcome at COP26. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/ science-environment-59053257 Ministry of Environment and Forests. (2011, April). Low carbon path of development and NAMA: The case of Bangladesh. Presented at the The session of the AWG-LCA, Bangkok, Thailand. http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/ad_ hoc_ working_groups/lca/application/pdf/bangladesh_final.pdf. Mukhopadhyay, R., Karisiddaiah, S. M., & Mukhopadhyay, J. (2018). Threat To Opportunity. In Climate Change: Alternate Governance Policy for South Asia (pp. 99–117). Amsterdam: Elsevier. Nishat, A., & Mukherjee, N. (2013). Climate Change Impacts, Scenario and Vulnerability of Bangladesh. In Climate Change Adaptation Actions in Bangladesh (pp. 15–43). Japan: Springer. Oberthür, S., & Roche Kelly, C. (2008). EU Leadership in International Climate Policy: Achievements and Challenges. The International Spectator, 43(3), 35–50. https://doi.org/10.1080/03932720802280594 Roy, M., Hanlon, J., & Hulme, D. (2016). Actors, Not Victims. In Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change: Keeping Our Heads Above Water (pp. 1–15). New York: Anthem Press. Saul, U., & Seidel, C. (2011). Does leadership promote cooperation in climate change mitigation policy? Climate Policy, 11(2), 901–921. https://doi.org/10.3763/ cpol.2009.0004 Skodvin, T., & Andresen, S. (2006). Leadership revisted. Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions, 6(3), 13–27. The Business Standard. (2020, December 10). PM for robust ‘global climate coalitions’ to save future generations. The Business Standard. https://www. tbsnews.net/environment/pm-robust-global-climate-coalitions-save-futuregenerations-169714 The Daily Star. (2015, September 15). Hasina wins Champions of the Earth award. https://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/hasina-wins-champions-the-earthaward-143458 Thomson, S. (2019, July 30). Bangladesh is a world leader in climate change adaptation. This is how it did it. Retrieved March 3, 2022, from Global Center on Adaptation website: gca.org/bangladesh-is-a-world-leader-inclimate-change-adaptation-this-is-how-it-did-it/ UNB. (2021, November 1). Hasina at COP26, gets warm welcome from Guterres, Boris. https://www.unb.com.bd/category/Bangladesh/hasina-at-cop26-getswarm-welcome-from-guterres-boris/81542 Underdal, A. (1994). Leadership Theory: Rediscovering the Arts of Management. In International Multilateral Negotiation: Approaches to the Management of Complexity (pp. 178–197). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Venema, H. D., & Rehman, I. H. (2007). Decentralized renewable energy and the climate change mitigation-adaptation nexus. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 12(5), 875–900. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-007-9104-7 World Meteorological Organization. (2011, May 16). Climate Change – “A Serious Challenge to Human Existence.” https://public.wmo.int/en/bulletin/ climate-change-%E2%80%93-%E2%80%9C-serious-challenge-humanexistence%E2%80%9D Young, O. R. (1991). Political leadership and regime formation: On the development of institutions in international society. International Organization, 45(3), 281–308. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818300033117.