Bangladesh, located on the delta of three major rivers and with a dense population, is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change.
More than 70 percent of the population is exposed to cyclones, and the resulting economic impact is significant.
Since 2008, UK aid funding has helped over 27 million people in Bangladesh gain access to early warning systems for floods and cyclones, installed 249 solar irrigation pumps serving 6,062 farmers and has protected 40,000 hectares of cultivable land against monsoon flooding.
Lord Goldsmith commented on his visit: “Developing countries like Bangladesh are the hardest hit by climate change.
“The work taking place here to help adapt to its impacts and build resilience is an example for the world to follow. The UK is proud to support it.
“As COP26 Presidents, we are encouraging countries to come forward with ambitious visions to put nature-based solutions at the heart of plans to tackle climate change.”
During his virtual visit, Lord Goldsmith met with Mr Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and discussed Bangladesh’s increasing demand for reliable energy, and the potential to replace coal with renewable energy generation.
He also met with Professor Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, which is working with Oxford University to encourage the integration of nature-based solutions in Bangladesh.
The British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Robert Chatterton Dickson, added: “The climate emergency is a vital issue for the world.
“As COP26 and Climate Vulnerable Forum Chairs, the UK and Bangladesh have key roles to play together in leading global efforts to tackle it.
“I am very pleased that Lord Goldsmith has met key Bangladeshi partners in Government, the research community and civil society.
“They had useful discussions to learn about how we can work together both locally and internationally as a joint force for good in tackling climate change, and helping the world build back greener from the COVID pandemic.”