John Kerry, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on April 9 on a daylong visit during which Bangladesh will convey its priority issues to him on the climate front.
"Yes, we're happy that he's coming. We worked with him before, too," Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told UNB on Wednesday.
Kerry will hand over the invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in person to attend the "Leaders Summit on Climate" to be held on April 22 and 23, Dr Momen said.
US President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Hasina, to the summit that he will host. The virtual summit will be live-streamed for public viewing.
The "Leaders Summit on Climate" will underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.
"We'll be happy to convey our priority issues. We'll also share the steps that Bangladesh has taken so far," Dr Momen said.
He said Bangladesh believes that adaptation is not enough and there has to be mitigation and Bangladesh needs support as promised by others. "It should be Kerry's special target."
Dr Momen said Bangladesh did not create the problem and those responsible countries should share responsibility of rehabilitating and protecting people from the river erosions.
During his recent meeting with Presidential Envoy on Climate John Kerry, the foreign minister discussed the global issue of climate change, and the possible US-Bangladesh collaboration in this connection.
The Foreign Minister recollected the vital contribution of Kerry towards the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and welcomed the decision of the US to return to the Paris Agreement.
He described various actions taken by the Government of Bangladesh under the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Hasina on mitigation, adaptation and resilience.
Dr Momen also briefed John Kerry on all current and future activities of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) regional office in Dhaka.
Kerry recognised the extraordinary challenges faced by Bangladesh due to climate change and frequent natural disasters.
Agreeing that the international financial institutions could do more for the issue of climate change, he also opined that displacement due to climate change would be a vital security issue for everybody.
They agreed to work closely in the COP26 and other multilateral platforms in order to fulfil commitments under the Paris climate agreement and even go beyond Paris.
President Biden took action on his first day in office to return the US to the Paris Agreement.
Days later, on January 27, he announced that he would soon convene a leaders' summit to galvanise efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis.