The visiting COP26 president-designate and UK's member of parliament, Alok Sharma pledged on Wednesday to help Bangladesh in a "clean energy transition" appreciating country's adaptation and resilience.
"We can work together to make sure that it is not just the public finance but also private finance that is coming into Bangladesh," he told journalists in a joint media briefing with Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at Foreign Service Academy in the capital.
Sharma arrived here on Wednesday morning on a two-day visit to drum up support for UK COP26 climate priorities ahead of hosting the crucial UN climate change summit in Glasgow this November.
Responding to a question, Sharma said he had discussed the coal power issue during his meeting with the foreign minister and that he emphasised alternative sources of energy/ clean energy. Foreign Minister Momen said the Bangladesh government was scaling down operations of coal power industries as part of reducing dependency on coal power.
"We planned to have around 40% renewable energy by 2041. We'll be looking for more renewable energy and we're asking for technology to support renewable energy," he said.
Responding to a question on $100 billion climate fund for developing countries, Sharma said the donor and developed countries needed to step up to deliver on the pledge.
Sharma expressed satisfaction over the private sector's interest towards clean energy transition but they want long-term policy and clear regulations from all governments around the world.
On the Sundarbans, he said the mangrove forest should get more protection. "I am looking forward to the visit tomorrow [Thursday] there."
Dr Momen said the planet needs to be saved. "We are capable of doing it if there's strong partnership and collaboration."
Sharma met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban and attended "UK-Bangladesh climate partnership roundtable" at Foreign Service Academy before holding the joint briefing.
Hasina said Bangladesh expected the UK to promote the interests and priorities of climate vulnerable countries on international platforms.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said they discussed issues, such as the climate change situation, its global impacts, mitigation, Climate Change Fund and Covid-19 pandemic.
Hasina said Bangladesh was going to be one of the worst affected countries globally despite negligible carbon emission by themselves.
She said the government had taken various programmes to increase the use of renewable energy in mitigating the demand for power. There are currently some 5.8 million solar power connections in Bangladesh.
The PM also said the government and the ruling party were conducting massive tree plantation campaigns in the country.
COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma expressed the hope that Bangladesh under the leadership of Hasina would play an important role in the summit as the president of Climate Vulnerable Forum.