The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Secretariat is deeply saddened by the loss of Professor Saleemul Huq who was the Chair of the CVF’s Expert Advisory Group. The movement of the vulnerable nations would not be where it is today without the constant and deeply dedicated commitment of Professor Huq, who closely advised the CVF since its inception. In all his work, Professor Huq exhibited a truly unwavering and unphased commitment to championing the interests of the communities most marginalized within the global climate crisis. His work always sought to unify, elevate and amplify the efforts and voices of the most vulnerable in the international domain, which is at the core of the purpose of the CVF.
Professor Huq, indeed, dedicated his life’s work to advocating for the rights and needs of the communities that are most deeply affected by the dual razor of climate shocks and socio-economic disadvantages. His engagement and contributions towards securing climate justice, promoting locally-led adaptation, and creating global recognition for the need to provide funding to the hardest-hit communities suffering loss and damage due to climate fallout helped achieve landmark international breakthroughs such as the COP27 decision at Sharm al Sheikh last year on the creation of an international loss and damage fund.
Among his many responsibilities, Professor Huq was Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) which he founded in Bangladesh. He was also Senior Adviser on Locally Led Adaptation with Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA), Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and a significant contributor to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was part of the lead author team of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Assessment Reports of the IPCC, spanning from 1997 to 2014.
Having actively attended every single session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) his experience in international climate negotiations was unparalleled. He constantly put that wisdom to use by organizing efforts to build the capacity of new generations of negotiators from vulnerable countries and by supporting the engagement of the Least Developed Countries group and the CVF.
We are convinced that Professor Huq’s leadership, his pursuit of justice, equity, and resilience for the most vulnerable, and his repeated appeals to all for common sense, will continue to inspire generations of researchers, policymakers, and activists around the world to never give up. In his own words: “You cannot give up. You have to keep on going.”
In remembrance of such an esteemed fallen colleague, we remain ever grateful for Professor Huq’s unwavering encouragement and for his simply immense contributions towards shaping for the better our collective response to the global climate emergency.
Our deepest condolences to all of Professor Huq’s loved ones. He will be profoundly missed.