It is with profound sadness that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has learned of the death of Professor Saleemul Huq who passed away on 28 October in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dr Saleemul Huq was part of the author team of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Assessment Reports of the IPCC, spanning from 1997 to 2014.
He was an expert in the fields of climate change, environment, and development. His work focused on ways to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects from the perspective of Least Developing Countries (LDCs). He attended all the sessions of the Conferences of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) until he passed away. He played an active role as the adviser on adaptation, loss and damage and climate finance to the LDC group of negotiators in the UNFCCC. At the COP27 of the UNFCCC held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Dr Huq was instrumental to reaching the agreement on the establishment of a loss and damage fund, on which he has been working for many years.
Dr. Huq was honored with the Order of the British Empire for his efforts to combat climate change in the 2022 New Year Honors. He published hundreds of scientific as well as popular articles and was recognized as one of the top twenty global influencers on climate change policy in 2019. At the time of his passing, he was the director of the Dhaka-based International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), an organization he founded. He was also a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED) based in the UK and Senior Adviser on Locally Led Adaptation with Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA).
Born on October 2, 1952, he grew up in Europe, Asia, and Africa following his parents’ diplomatic postings. He moved to the United Kingdom in the 1970s to study at Imperial College London, where he obtained his doctorate in botany in 1978.
Dr Huq is survived by his wife, Kashana Huq; a son, Saqib Huq and a daughter, Sadaf Huq.
He will be greatly missed by his colleagues at IPCC, UNFCCC, and the climate change community in his home country and worldwide.
This obituary was originally published by IPCC on 31st October, 2023.