May 25, 2024, 9:28 pm

Staff Correspondent

2024-04-19 09:22:37 BdST

Govt to form BCDP for attracting foreign climate funds

Environment minister Saber Hossain Chowdhury on Thursday said the government is set to form the Bangladesh Climate Development Partnership (BCDP) for attracting increased international funding for the country’s costly fight against climate change.

The new scheme will help the government prepare progressive climate-related policies, draft feasible and efficient climate project plans, and increase Bangladesh's participation in global climate forums with a view to attracting more funds from global partners amid a woeful shortfall in the finances needed to stave off disastrous climate change impact.

Saber made the disclosures at a discuss session at a Dhaka hotel.

By collaborating with foreign partners and the private sector, adopting a strong climate-resilient project pipeline and efficiently updating the policy framework, Bangladesh should be able to attract significant global capital investment for its climate fight, the minister added.

He said that effective and well-coordinated solutions are needed while collective action is required to combat climate change as market-driven policies and generations of other practices have failed to do so.

"In order to collect investments that will enable us to accomplish our common objective of enhancing our prosperity and resiliency while lowering our susceptibility to climate change, we are keen to work with significant economies and partners," the environment minister said.

Saber further said that the government has allocated Tk37,000 crore ($3.4 billion) in the current budget to address climate change-related issues, and authorities will oversee the work carried out by 25 relevant ministries and departments. However, the annual funding need for the country’s climate fight is at least 2.5 times greater than the budget allocation, the minister added.

As per World Bank data, Bangladesh requires $12 billion of climate finance per year, roughly equivalent to 3% of its entire GDP, resulting in a significant finance gap when compared with the ongoing fiscal year’s massive $3.4 billion government allocation.

"We need immediate action to ensure the availability of ready, bankable projects in the pipeline. It is also crucial to gain a better understanding of the compounded climate risks faced by vulnerable regions/upazilas in the country to inform policies, adaptation actions, and project designs. Therefore, we need more knowledge and understanding of these dynamics," Saber Hossain said hinting that BCDP would go a long in helping meet these data requirements.

With help from BCDP and the data it would help generate, the government can build strong climate-resilient project pipeline and progressive policy framework to get more concessional finance for climate-related projects.

The government would be able to predict the financing that will be available for adaptation from development partners over the next 10 years, and to utilise this financing to mobilise private sector funding for the climate fight, the minister added.

He said the partnership can assist the government in mobilising climate finance from global climate funds, thereby improving the overall global climate finance structure.

It is crucial that the government utilises this opportunity to its full potential, as it will have a significant impact on the country's ability to combat climate change and ensure a sustainable future for its citizens, Saber said.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Mohammad Tofazzel Hossain Miah presided over the meeting.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry’s Secretary Dr Farhina Ahmed and Asian Development Bank Country Director Edimon Ginting also spoke at the event.

The ministry’s Additional Secretary Iqbal Abdullah Harun presented guidelines on BCDP implementation.

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