Bangladesh calls for a resilient recovery from COVID-19 as it becomes Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum ahead of COP26
Decisive action on climate change must be at the heart of any resilient recovery from COVID-19, according to the Government of Bangladesh. In comments made in its capacity as the new chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance, Bangladesh called on leaders to ensure that recovery spending targeted at the pandemic also builds resilience to wider systemic shocks created by climate change.
“The COVID-19 pandemic had broken through the thin veneer of our security to the type of global risks we all faced today,” said H.E. Dr. A K Abdul Momen, MP, the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. “It has revealed just how vulnerable society had become and climate change has an even greater potential for disruption, especially for those of us on the frontline”.
Under Bangladesh’s leadership, the CVF indicated it would continue to call for delivery of strengthened contributions to the Paris Agreement. To reinforce this commitment, it confirmed that the country’s Prime Minister, H.E. Sheikh Hasina, will serve as Chair of the CVF.
Bangladesh indicated that its work within the V20 would continue to mobilize the economy and financial resources to fight climate change and ensure international financial institutions are better positioned to respond to climate threats and provide the right support to the most vulnerable. Several innovative financing initiatives under development by the V20 were also highlighted, including the “Accelerated Financing Mechanism”, which aims to address higher capital costs that hold back climate investments in the V20, and the “Sustainable Insurance Facility”, which aims to expand financial protection against climate risks.
“Already reeling from the economic shock of the COVID pandemic our economy was struck by a second tragic event with Cyclone Amphan. This situation of extreme vulnerability is dangerous and unsustainable,” said Ms Fatima Yasmin, Secretary of Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division. “In leading forward the V20, Bangladesh, therefore, aims to work tirelessly, at home and with all our partner countries and institutions, to ensure today’s economic systems adjust to the realities we face. We will promote all efforts towards urgently reinforcing climate and economic resilience.”
The Climate Vulnerable Forum was founded in 2009 by the Republic of Maldives to serve as the main cooperation body for nations most vulnerable to climate threats. Its membership today includes 48 developing countries from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific. Since 2015, the Forum’s finance ministers also collaborate on climate issues under the banner of “Vulnerable Twenty Group” or V20. The CVF and V20 are supported by a dedicated secretariat hosted by the Global Center on Adaptation, Managing Partner of the CVF and V20, which are also noteworthy examples of South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
UCCRTF is supporting several Bangladesh Cities to build resilience under TA 8913 Regional: Promoting Urban Climate Change Resilience in Selected Asian Cities - Developing Integrated Urban Development Plans in Selected DMC Cities Incorporating Urban Climate Change Resilience Principles (Subproject 1).