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Kerry Discusses Climate in Bangladesh  04/09 06:15

   John Kerry, the special U.S. envoy on climate, said Friday that President 
Joe Biden was keen to work with Bangladesh in dealing with climate change 
impacts after the United States' return to the Paris accord.

   DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) -- John Kerry, the special U.S. envoy on climate, 
said Friday that President Joe Biden was keen to work with Bangladesh in 
dealing with climate change impacts after the United States' return to the 
Paris accord.

   Kerry arrived in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, to hear what the South Asia 
delta nation has done to cope with weather extremes and rising sea levels ahead 
of a virtual summit on climate change that Biden is hosting this month.

   "No one country can solve the problems of climate crisis," he told 
reporters, after visiting other vulnerable countries including the United Arab 
Emirates and India. He said that Biden had returned the U.S. to the Paris 
agreement on climate change after Donald Trump pulled out in 2017.

   Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen, who appeared with Kerry, took 
the opportunity to ask for U.S. help in repatriating about 1.1 million Myanmar 
Rohingya refugees from crowded camps in the border district of Cox's Bazar, 
saying they were destroying vast areas of forests and ecology.

   "We hope that (the) U.S.'s proactive initiative can help them for a safe and 
dignified return, back to their country for a decent living," he said.

   The refugees are victims of persecution in Myanmar, which is now military 
ruled since the Feb. 1 coup toppled the civilian government, and most say it's 
unsafe to return.

   Momen said earlier that Bangladesh believes that adaptation to climate 
change is not enough and it needs support as promised by others. "It should be 
Kerry's special target," he was quoted as saying by the United News of 
Bangladesh news agency.

   He said the countries that are mostly responsible for contributing 
greenhouse gases should also share responsibility of rehabilitating and 
protecting the people vulnerable to climate change impacts.

   In the UAE, the government says the impact of warmer weather, less rain, 
droughts, higher seas and more storms is taking its toll on infrastructure, 
human health and natural habitat. Kerry heard of similar challenges in talks 
with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday, the State 
Department said.

   Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million people, shares the same predicament.

   Some expert warn that rising sea levels could devour much of its vast 
coastal region, and cyclones and tidal surge destroy agriculture and livelihood 
for millions. The world's largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans, which straddles 
the border of Bangladesh and India, is especially vulnerable and its famous 
Bengal tigers at risk.

   The State Department said that Kerry and Modi focused on mobilizing finance 
to support clean energy deployment, cooperation on innovation and scaling up 
emerging technologies such as for energy storage, green hydrogen, clean 
industrial processes and sustainable urbanization and agriculture.

   Biden has invited 40 world leaders for the April 22-23 summit, including 
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

 
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