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FEATURE: Simon Maxwell – Is climate compatible development a ‘pathway’ or ‘pipe dream’?

Simon Maxwell, Executive Chair, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) visited Bangladesh to deliver the Annual Lecture of the Centre for Policy Dialogue’s (CPD). His lecture entitled “Climate Compatible Development: Pathway or Pipe dream?” was held on Saturday 16 January 2016 at The Westin, Dhaka, and garnered widespread headlines in the Bangladeshi media.

Mr Maxwell characterised the challenge of dealing with climate change in the context of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework as a ‘wicked’ problem. Achieving the SDGs will require close integration of poverty, environmental and social action in the light of the idea of ‘zero-zero’: zero poverty by 2030 and zero net emission of carbon dioxide by around the year 2070, Mr Maxwell said. Climate compatible development provides a framework for approaching these challenges and charting a way forward. It emphasises mitigation, adaptation, and also adjustment to transformation in the world economy. In this context, competiveness is a crucial dimension. The lecture highlighted the need for three pillars in delivering climate compatible development: policy leadership, policy design and policy implementation. Mr Maxwell lauded efforts by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to tackle climate change impacts, and called for further innovative approaches.

Watch Simon Maxwell’s lecture to the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka:


Mr Maxwell thanked the Centre for Policy Dialogue for their ‘spectacular’ arrangement of his visit, including the lecture, attended by some 250 development professionals and journalists, related conversations with government policy-makers and aid donors, and a field visit to the heavily polluted Buriganga River (see right).

“I hope we made some progress in making climate compatible development issues visible in Dhaka,” he reflected. “A notable benefit was to support the Centre for Policy Dialogue in strengthening the epistemic community of development and climate people – both were represented in the lecture event.”

Read a longer account of Mr Maxwell’s lecture on the Centre for Policy Dialogue website.

Download the full lecture: Climate compatible development: Pathway or Pipedream?

Download the lecture slides: Climate compatible development: Pathway or Pipedream?

Explore some of the national media coverage in Bangladesh:

The Daily Star

Dhaka Tribune

The News Today

New Age: the outspoken Daily

The Financial Express


South Asia time

The Daily Observer 1

The Daily Observer 2


Image: Simon Maxwell (centre), Munjurul Khan, CDKN Senior Advisor (right) and Sharif Jamil,
Buriganga Riverkeeper (Council Member of Waterkeeper Alliance) and Joint Secretary, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), field visit, Dhaka Bangladesh, credit CDKN

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One response to “FEATURE: Simon Maxwell – Is climate compatible development a ‘pathway’ or ‘pipe dream’?”

  1. Mahabub says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Please include the newspaper Daily sun, which have already published interesting articles on the Paris agreement in Bangladesh perspective.

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