Published on Jan 9,2018
Dr Alice Baillat gave the keynote presentation on how a weak power like Bangladesh is able to exert influence at the international climate negotiations. She explained that Bangladesh has been able to use its dual identities as both one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change as well as a champion of adaptation to pull leverage at the international level. Furthermore, since Bangladesh was one of the first countries to enact a comprehensive adaptation strategy, as well as create a domestic fund earmarked particularly for adaptation, the country has ‘first mover advantage’ at the international stage. The country has also been able to draw on its climate experts to gain a better understanding of the issues at stake at the talks. Two strategies countries like Bangladesh can use in the international climate talks are moral leadership and coalition building. Moral leadership arises from the fact the poor countries often will be the foremost victims of climate change, but contributed very little to the problem. Whereas coalition building allows poor countries to pull their resources together and fight for a common platform. One example she gave is Climate Vulnerable Forum, a coalition of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, that successfully campaigned for the inclusion of the 1.5C goal in the Paris Agreement. However, as they countries are still weak, international climate negotiations are still ultimately determined by stronger players. Nevertheless, using these strategies, Bangladesh has shown it is not a passive victim, but a key player in the fight against climate change.