US presidential envoy on climate John Kerry.
US presidential envoy on climate John Kerry.AFP file photo

John Kerry, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, is scheduled to arrive here on Friday on a brief visit during which Bangladesh will convey its priority issues on the climate front.

Kerry, now in India on a four-day visit, will hand over the US president’s invitation to prime minister Sheikh Hasina in person to attend the “Leaders Summit on Climate” to be held on 22 and 23 April virtually.

Kerry is looking forward to “meaningful discussions” with prime minister Sheikh Hasina, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen and others during his stay in Dhaka on how to tackle the climate crisis.

“In Dhaka, Special Presidential Envoy Kerry will meet representatives from the government of Bangladesh and key development and international partners,” a State Department spokesperson told UNB.

As the president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers, Bangladesh plays a leading role in combating climate change, the spokesperson said.

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Marcia Bernicat, US senior official for economic growth, energy and the environment, has said Bangladesh’s leadership in addressing climate change offers the United States – and the world – a great partner to tackle this climate crisis.

As president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers, she said, Bangladesh can make irreplaceable contributions towards a successful COP26.

As a climate vulnerable country, Bernicat said, Bangladesh will require significant climate adaptation and resilience, especially in view of its increasingly ambitious climate goals.

US companies are well placed to deliver many of the solutions Bangladesh will need to sustainably grow its economy, she said.

“Yes, we’re happy that he’s coming. We worked with him before, too,” foreign minister Momen told UNB.

US President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Hasina, to the “Leaders’ Summit on Climate” 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.

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