Saleemul Huq, a Bangladeshi-British scientist who performed a number one function in attempting to get wealthy nations to compensate poorer ones for the damaging results of local weather change largely caused by the developed world, died on Saturday in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the capital. He was 71.
His loss of life was confirmed by the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Dhaka, a analysis group he directed and helped discovered. The newspaper The Daily Star in Bangladesh, to which he contributed a column, stated the trigger was a coronary heart assault. He died at dwelling, a member of the family stated.
Mr. Huq (pronounced hook), who educated as a botanist, was maybe the principal proponent of the concept that the developed world’s emissions of greenhouse gases had been having a disproportionate impression on the local weather in poorer nations, and that rich nations ought to pay for measures to curb or reverse these results.
He was one of many few who had been to each United Nations-organized local weather summit, or COP (for Conference of the Parties), for the reason that first one in 1995.
At the latest summit, in Egypt in 2022, he helped push by way of a world dedication to create a fund to pay for the injury. “It’s unfortunate that he won’t be able to see the fruit of it,” the member of the family, who requested to not be recognized, stated in a phone interview. “He’s obviously irreplaceable.”
The British journal Nature named Mr. Huq one in all “10 people who helped shape science in 2022.”
Those who knew him stated he was deeply influenced by what he noticed taking place in his nation. Climate change seemed to be unfolding in entrance of him, in actual time, with results on many Bangladeshis.
Cyclone Amphan, intensified by hotter ocean temperatures, displaced 1000’s in Bangladesh in 2020 after the storm destroyed their properties. “This is loss and damage to the livelihoods of the people,” he informed The New York Times in 2021, utilizing a phrase he known as “a euphemism for terms we’re not allowed to use, which are ‘liability and compensation.’”
In his final piece of writing, a column in The Guardian written with Farhana Sultana of Syracuse University and printed on Nov. 1, Mr. Huq struck a pessimistic word.
“Unfortunately, in many cases the damage has already been done,” the authors wrote. “In increasing numbers of places, adaptation is no longer possible — for instance, where displacement, ecosystem damage and loss of homeland to sea-level rise has already occurred. This is ‘loss and damage’ in real time.”
In The Daily Star, Mr. Huq wrote on Oct. 4 concerning the “world leaders” he deemed largely liable for the greenhouse gasoline downside: “It is not that they are not doing anything, but that they are doing too little too late.”
In June, he wrote an open letter to the president of the forthcoming COP, in Dubai, describing how in Bangladesh, “every single day, over 2,000 climate-displaced people arrive by foot, cycle, boat and bus in Dhaka and disappear into the city slums.”
“No one is looking after them,” he added, “but they are people being forced to move by human-induced climate change and are hence the responsibility of the U.N.F.C.C.C.,” the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
He was not usually a pessimist, nevertheless. Colleagues remembered him as an inspirational determine whose continued insistence that poorer nations have a say within the international wrestle over local weather change seemed to be lastly paying off.
Mr. Huq was a well-recognized and pleasant presence on the COP and different international conferences on local weather change, as prepared to talk with journalists as to buttonhole movers and shakers.
Asif Saleh, the manager director of the Bangladesh-based worldwide improvement group BRAC, wrote of Mr. Huq in a tribute on LinkedIn: “At the COP event, he was one of the most sought after figures — journalists, negotiators, NGOs, young activists, govt ministers — all looked for a few minutes with him. He did not disappoint either. He would sit on a table and there would be a steady stream of people paying their dues to him.”
Mr. Huq’s elementary message was that “climate change is real, and it is happening in these places, in the far corners of Bangladesh and Burundi,” stated Achala Abeysinghe, Asia regional director on the Global Green Growth Institute in Seoul, in a telephone interview.
“Unless there is a champion to talk about them,” she stated, “nobody will.”
Saleemul Huq was born in Karachi, Pakistan, on Oct. 2, 1952, to Zahoorul and Shajeda Huq. His father was in Pakistan’s diplomatic service, and Mr. Huq grew up in Berlin, Nairobi, Djakarta and London.
He obtained a doctorate in botany from Imperial College London. In Bangladesh, he was a lecturer in botany at Dhaka University and helped discovered the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies, an environmental analysis group.
Mr. Huq was additionally an affiliate of the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, and he contributed to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
He is survived by his spouse, Kashana Huq; his daughter, Sadaf Huq; and his son, Saqib.
“For him, the main thing was, there are no ‘victims’ of climate change,” stated Dr. Lisa Schipper of the University of Bonn in Germany, an professional on local weather change within the international south. “Everybody is an actor. He wanted us to look at people in Bangladesh as people with knowledge. He talked about Bangladesh as a laboratory. He wanted scholars and policymakers to come to Bangladesh, and he wanted to make sure developing countries got the money they were owed.”
Somini Sengupta contributed reporting.