UK MP and COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma will be visiting Bangladesh next week. As part of his tour to Asia, Sharma will look to strengthen support for climate priorities ahead of the UN climate change summit in Glasgow this November.
Apart from Bangladesh, he will also visit Vietnam and Indonesia, said a statement of the UK Cabinet Office.
The visit is likely to take place on June 2 or 3, a diplomatic source said.
“Meetings with senior leaders will focus on climate ambition, including a clean energy transition and efforts to help communities deal with the worst effects of climate change,” the cabinet office’s statement said.
Alok Sharma’s visit follows commitments from G7 nations to end all new finance for coal power by the end of 2021 and increase support for countries vulnerable to climate change.
With less than six months to go before COP26, he will meet with leaders from the government, business, and civil society to press his personal priority for a move to global clean power. According to some estimations, this is critical to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C.
Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia are all fast growing economies with significant renewable energy potential and Sharma’s visit will highlight the three country’s growing leadership.
It will also discuss how the UK Presidency will work with the countries to support workers and communities make the transition to green jobs.
The visit builds on the recent Climate and Environment Ministerial meeting where, under the UK’s leadership, G7 nations agreed to end all new direct government support for international coal power and increase support for clean energy alternatives, like solar and wind.
The G7 nations also agreed to work to increase finance for climate action in order to meet the $100bn per annum target to support developing countries.
During the visit, Sharma will also discuss the needs of countries most vulnerable to climate change, to ensure they are equipped to deal with its current and damaging effects.
Preventing deforestation whilst ensuring development and trade is sustainable will be high on the agenda, as COP26 looks to highlight the protection of nature and biodiversity as a key tool in limiting global temperature rise, said the cabinet office statement.
“COP26 is our best chance of safeguarding our planet for our children, building a brighter future with greener jobs and cleaner air, and keeping the 1.5C target alive,” the statement quoted Alok Sharma as saying.
“I look forward to discussing these shared priorities with friends across Viet Nam, Bangladesh and Indonesia, who will be crucial partners on the road to COP26.”