Bangladesh to seek 15 percent of any climate fund

A man rests at the bay of Bengal in Cox's Bazaar August 14, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh is entitled to ask for at least 15 percent of any climate adaptation fund that may be pledged by developed countries at climate talks in Copenhagen, the state minister for the environment said on Tuesday.

“We are the most vulnerable country to climate change and the world has already recognized that we need assistance for adaptation,” Hasan Mahmud Khondoker told a news conference.

He said at least 20 million Bangladeshis, of a total population about 150 million, would be displaced if sea levels rose by one meter. Many more would be affected if glaciers on the Himalayas melted due to global warming.

“The population of our one coastal district is bigger than the entire population of all island countries and in that consideration at least 15 percent of any climate fund should come to us.”

Bangladesh has said that during the Copenhagen meeting it would demand that the 29 developed countries mostly responsible for greenhouse gas emissions contribute 1.5 per cent of their GDP to a climate adaptation fund.

Officials say this could generate up to $600 billion to adapt to changes. Another key demand of Bangladesh at the conference would be easy transfer of technology from the developed countries to those most vulnerable.

“We are not begging any mercy from anyone. Rather we want justice as the worst victim of climate change,” said Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, a leading economist, who is also part of Bangladesh negotiation team.

Reporting by Azad Majumder; Writing by Anis Ahmed; Editing by Ron Popeski