My country needs climate finance now to face difficult years ahead

A Rohingya refugee man charges his mobile phone from a solar panel in the Palong Khali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, November 17, 2017

A Rohingya refugee man charges his mobile phone from a solar panel in the Palong Khali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Bangladesh needs international support to protect its people from worsening climate change impacts and build out renewable energy

Sheikh Hasina is the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

Much like the fast-flowing waters of the Padma River, the climate crisis is fluid, fast moving, and often unpredictable. The same cannot be said for talks to tackle the crisis itself. At COP28 right now, we unfortunately see the predictable differences emerging over issues such as mitigation, finance and adaptation.

In the coming days it is essential we make progress in these crucial areas. We must keep the 1.5C warming limit alive, the Global Stocktake must deliver increased ambition, and finance needs to be mobilised urgently recognising the increasing needs of vulnerable countries such as ours.

In Dubai today we even see some countries continuing to challenge the science. In Bangladesh we have experienced the impact of rising emissions for decades. There is no doubt. This year alone, temperatures in our country soared above 40 degrees. Our people endured punishing heat waves and power cuts; thousands of schools were shut. In August, 55 people were killed in flooding and thousands uprooted from their homes.

Want to hear more under-reported stories from the frontlines of the climate emergency? Subscribe to our Climate. Change. newsletter.

Bangladesh is responsible for 0.47 % of global emissions - yet we are ranked the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change. For years we have been investing in ways to grow our economy whilst adapting to the seismic effects of climate change.

Through the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan, we have set out ways to transform our society and set out a path of climate resilience not climate vulnerability. Our energy transition involves boosting renewable energy capacity to 30% by 2030, developing sustainable agriculture and modernising grids.

Sumi Akter, who raises goats and poultry to support her landless family, stands by the Padma River where floods and riverbank erosion have forced her to shift her house three times in the last three years, Faridpur, Bangladesh, May 21, 2023
Go DeeperBangladesh tests climate finance for disaster-hit communities
A shepherd brings a flock of sheep owned by Josna Ray, a farmer from Dacope, Khulna, Bangladesh, August 16, 2023
Go DeeperFirst crops, now animals: Climate change hurts Bangladesh farmers
A man rides a bicycle on a flooded streets after rain in Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 4, 2023
Go DeeperBangladesh confronts growing threat of warming-driven floods

Today we continue to build flood defences, sea walls and mangrove forests. Satellite warning systems track dangerous weather patterns. All these measures help us save lives. Climate disaster mitigation is woven into the very DNA of every action taken by my government as part of the national adaptation plan. It is integral to our economy and survival.

But adaptation is also about how we grow our interconnected economies, our different sectors from food to textiles, which sector communities rely on, and how we build infrastructure. Our bold strategy needs even bolder investment. Solar technology must be made more affordable, prohibitive taxes on inverters must be reconsidered, and international investment must be forthcoming.

Huge finance gap

Leaders at COP28 have pledged $169 million towards the Adaptation Fund, this is far from the $300 million annual target for this year. The financing gap is at a staggering $194–366 billion per year. This falls hugely short of where we need to be. Rich countries must step up.

There are mere days and hours left to reach an ambitious outcome that the world urgently needs. Parties know what they need to achieve at and beyond COP28. The largest carbon-emitting nations must submit ambitious NDCs and set out bold strategies to meet them. The developed countries must deliver the $100bn per year and the new post-2025 climate finance goals must be significantly higher than current commitments.

It is vital that climate finance meets three essential criteria: funding must be adequate, routine, and accessible. Countries such as ours face years of difficulty ahead - future funding must reach those who need it most when it most counts.

We require a vision for the future. At COP28, I beseech my international partners to reflect deeply on our common goals, to take decisive action and acknowledge the true costs of any further delays. I applaud the hard work being done and sincere efforts undertaken by all. But equally, I urge my international partners to act in solidarity as the latest available science unequivocally demands.

As the waters rise around our feet, as heat waves continue to break records, we are forced to remember that the biggest challenges we face remain on the horizon. We must effectively confront and address them together on a war footing.

Any views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and not of Context or the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


  • Extreme weather
  • Adaptation
  • Government aid
  • Climate finance
  • Net-zero
  • Climate policy
  • Agriculture and farming
  • Climate inequality
  • Loss and damage
  • Communicating climate change
  • Climate solutions

Get our climate newsletter. Free. Every week.

By providing your email, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Latest on Context