TPT Dhaka Bureau:
Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister requested support in the form of climate financing, rehabilitation of climate migrants, and transfer of green technology to address the challenges of climate change. He made this request when he met the Head of IMF and the Dutch Ministers in separate bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the meeting of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) in Rotterdam, The Netherlands on 6 September 2021.
Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen held a bilateral meeting with Ms. Barbara Visser, Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management. In the meeting, Dr. Momen requested for support of the Netherlands in the implementation of the different projects under the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. He also explained the necessity of embankments to protect from sea-level rise, river erosion, and floods. Minister Momen requested Dutch advice and assistance in building embankments and dykes in this regard. Dr. Momen also suggested that the Dutch Government may support Bangladesh in water management in the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) that are being developed in different places in Bangladesh. Minister Barbara Visser of the Netherlands assured Foreign Minister Momen of continued Dutch support for the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. It was also agreed that the two sides would work together to address the challenges of climate change.
Foreign Minister Momen also held a bilateral meeting with Mr. Tom De Bruijn, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands. In the meeting, Dr. Momen requested the Dutch Foreign Trade Minister for continued preferential access of Bangladeshi products into the Dutch market for a period of time after the graduation of Bangladesh from the group of LDCs. Foreign Minister informed the Dutch Minister about the exportables of Bangladesh and suggested that the Dutch importers may explore different Bangladeshi products and services, including pharmaceuticals and ICT services. Minister Momen also briefed Mr. De Bruijn about the different initiatives of Bangladesh in the area of climate change. He requested Dutch development cooperation in the area of renewable energy and the transfer of green technology.
In another bilateral meeting with Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen requested the support of the IMF in addressing the challenges of climate change. Dr. Momen explained the difficulties faced by the people of Bangladesh because of climate change, including sea-level rise, increase in salinity, river erosion, floods, and droughts. He also mentioned the steps taken by the Government of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in addressing those challenges. He flagged that Bangladesh is a global leader in the area of climate change adaptation. Dr. Momen informed that Bangladesh had undertaken several projects to become climate-resilient, and he requested for support of the IMF for funding those projects. Ms. Georgieva appreciated the role of the Government of Bangladesh in addressing the challenges of climate change. She also referred to the humanitarian position of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by providing shelters to the Rohingyas who had fled persecution in their own country, Myanmar. Ms. Georgieva assured me that her office would be ready to work with Bangladesh in the area of climate change.
Foreign Minister Momen is now in The Netherlands to attend the meeting of the Global Center on Adaptation, the Dutch initiative to develop and share knowledge and best practices for climate change adaptation. Dr. Momen is the Board Member of the GCA, while Mr. Ban Ki Moon, the immediate past Secretary-General of the United Nations is the Chairman of the organization. The floating office of the GCA Headquarters, the largest floating office in the world, was inaugurated this afternoon in Rotterdam by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in presence of Board Members, Ministers from different countries, and several Heads of International Organisations.
In the meeting of the GCA, Foreign Minister Momen stressed the need for ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in the area of climate change by the major polluting countries. He insisted that it was the responsibility of the international community, particularly the major carbon-emitting countries to rehabilitate the climate migrants, the people displaced from their homes and traditional jobs because of the effects of climate change. Dr. Momen also highlighted the importance of ensuring the climate finance of at least 100 billion dollars every year, with equal importance given to mitigation and adaptation.
Earlier in the morning, Dr. Momen chaired a meeting of the Ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), the platform of 48 countries severely affected by climate change. In the meeting, the recent activities of the CVF were reported, and also the possible actions leading up to the 26th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, UK in November 2021 were discussed.