World's most vulnerable must be at heart of climate change action, says Dr Al Jaber

Cop28 President-delegate holds talks with Bangladesh Prime Minister on best ways to protect those most exposed

Bangladesh is widely considered one of the countries most affected by climate change. EPA
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Those most vulnerable must be among the first to benefit from plans to tackle climate change, Cop28 President-designate Dr Sultan Al Jaber has said.

Dr Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, met Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Thursday in Dhaka as part of continuing discussions with global leaders ahead of the Cop28 climate change conference being held in Dubai later this year.

Ms Hasina and Dr Al Jaber said they were committed to working together in the lead up to Cop28 to protect the world’s most vulnerable communities.

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
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President-designate

‘‘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," said Mr Hasina after the meeting in the Bangladeshi capital.

"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."

The World Bank estimates more than 13 million people in low-lying Bangladesh could displaced by flooding, drought or loss of farmland over the next 30 years, becoming "climate migrants".

The South Asian nation is frequently hit by tropical cyclones and is regarded as one of the world's most vulnerable countries to climate change.

It was estimated by the World Bank that tropical cyclones cost Bangladesh in the region of $1 billion each year.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Cop28 President-designate, meeting Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, for climate talks in Dhaka on Thursday. Wam

In cases of severe flooding, the country's GDP can fall by as much as 9 per cent, a World Bank report from last year said.

Helping those most vulnerable

Dr Al Jaber and Ms Hasina discussed climate finance during their meeting, in particular the urgent need to reform international financial institutions and development banks to attract more private finance.

They also emphasised the importance of ensuring that $100 billion of commitments from donor countries is met.

The Cop28 President-delegate acknowledged Ms Hasina’s leadership on food and agriculture innovation and said Bangladesh had been a role model for climate adaptation.

In turn, Ms Hasina agreed to champion the food agenda of Cop28 and underscored how vital the transformation of crucial food systems and agricultural innovation was to sustainable development.

“Bangladesh is very aware of the urgency of the need to address climate change," said Dr Al Jaber after the meeting.

"And while Bangladesh contributes only 0.25 per cent of global emissions, the country’s goal of 40 per cent 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.”

Updated: July 20, 2023, 4:40 PM