Bangladesh is planning to create 100 new economic zones in the country to accommodate climate refugees, said Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies Executive Director Dr Atiq Rahman.
He highlighted the pledge of the developed world to provide $100 billion per year to nations vulnerable to climate change, which is yet to materialise.
"There are plans to create 100 new economic zones to accommodate climate refugees," Dr Atiq added while addressing a webinar on climate change.
The webinar, organised by the Centre for Governance Studies (CGS), focused on the upcoming 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop26) and the current climate issues in Bangladesh and South Asia.
Highlighting Bangladesh's progress in combating climate change, Dr Atiq said, an estimated 5.58 million households are now powered by sustainable solar power in the country and about 22 million people are getting direct lighting benefits from solar power.
Robert Chatterton Dickson, the British high commissioner to Bangladesh, who was present as the chief guest during the webinar, said there is now an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence and real-life examples of the effects of climate change in almost every country.
"The climate movement has grasped the attention of world leaders, as seen by the example of China stopping investment in coal-powered plants," he added.
The high commissioner also recognised Bangladesh's leadership role in combating climate change and adaptation.
Architect Iqbal Habib, member secretary, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa), said there are two motivations at play in combating climate change. One is to raise funds and mitigate, the second is the adaptation process for individual countries and people.
He emphasised Bangladesh's need for planned urbanisation.
According to Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan from Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), climate change is both a justice issue and an equity issue.
She said due to the lack of transparency, the funds being allocated towards Bangladesh are ultimately ending up in personal pockets. She emphasised the importance of the government to set up a policy of transparency so that funding reaches the people who need it the most.
Dr Manjur A Chowdhury, chairman Centre for Governance Studies (CGS), made the concluding speech at the event by reiterating that climate change is an issue that affects everyone all over the world.
He added that the most important issues to be discussed during Cop26 will be viable ways of financing climate mitigation and adaptation.
Moderated by Zillur Rahman, executive director of CGS, this webinar was also attended by Ar Mubasshar Hussain, president, Institute of Architects Bangladesh, Dr Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir, chair, IUCN National Committee in Bangladesh, among others.