PM Hasina and GCA CEO meet ahead of COP28; commit to drive $1bn in climate finance in support of Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan

Dhaka, Bangladesh, Oct. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Global Center on Adaptation CEO, Professor Patrick Verkooijen, concluded a high-level mission to Bangladesh with the following statement:

“I wish to thank Her Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her gracious hospitality and constructive discussions on the deep and longstanding partnership between GCA and the Government of Bangladesh to drive adaptation action. I come out of these discussions hugely impressed and inspired by the continued bold leadership of Bangladesh in reducing the threat of climate change for people in the most vulnerable communities.” 

“With accelerating climate impacts, more investment for adaptation is vital. GCA is committed to leveraging its resources to work with the Government and its partners to design, finance, and implement adaptation solutions to sustain this path to prosperity. I want to especially highlight the strong commitment of the UK and Canada in making the upstream investments that enable GCA to drive forward the adaptation agenda rapidly and at scale.”

Bangladesh is on the frontline of a climate emergency that risks costing the country 7% of its GDP by 2030. The Government of Bangladesh spends an estimated US$1.2bn each year to finance adaptation needs. However, the financing needs identified in the government’s Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan (MCPP)  to address the threat of climate change exceed US$8.5bn each year.

In a meeting with Dr. AK Abdul Momen, Hon’ble Minister of Foreign Affairs, and member of the GCA Board, Professor Verkooijen outlined how GCA is supporting the government in unlocking adaptation finance by mainstreaming adaptation solutions into large scale investments to deliver a step-change in adaptation action. With support from the UK and Canada, GCA is working with partners including the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, IMF, and other International Financial Institutions (IFI) to design adaptation solutions, including nature-based solutions, into $1 billion of investments for coastal and urban communities in the most climate vulnerable regions with the goal of rapidly scaling this up further. 

Minister Momen welcomed GCA’s support and emphasized the need to catalyze investment and to enable direct access to climate finance, noting: “Bangladesh grapples with increasing climate risks despite considerable investment of its own resources. Without greater funding climate change will undermine Bangladesh’s strong development trajectory and the poorest will be hardest hit. The Government of Bangladesh will continue to partner with GCA to achieve scale and speed for those living on the frontlines of the climate emergency in South Asia.”

Through the Global Hub on Locally Led Adaptation, supported under the UK Bangladesh Climate and Environment Programme, GCA is also facilitating the development of ‘People’s Adaptation Plans’ by using state of the art climate analytics to help local communities living in urban settlements understand projected climate risks and to design locally led adaptation investment solutions that can be financed and implemented by IFIs.

Speaking in the bilateral discussion, British Deputy High Commissioner Matt Cannell said: “Through our partnership with GCA, the UK Bangladesh Climate and Environment Programme is helping build resilience, protect biodiversity, and empower women and girls to ensure the most vulnerable communities are protected from climate change and can prosper in Bangladesh. This effort is a cornerstone of our efforts to support Bangladesh in making rapid progress towards harnessing climate-resilient solutions and to help implement the UK Bangladesh climate accord.”

During the visit, Professor Verkooijen also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) to provide technical assistance and capacity building support to mobilize significant climate adaptation financing for Bangladesh from the Green Climate Fund over the coming years. IDCOL is the first nationally accredited direct access entity of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Bangladesh.

GCA’s engagement through its regional office in Dhaka will soon be anchored by a new nature-based South Asia office to showcase climate adaptation within infrastructure, which was endorsed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the official visit.


Alexandra Gee
Global Center on Adaptation

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