Global warming to cause great worry for Bangladesh
A recent scientific report released by the World Bank Group reveals that Bangladesh would be one of most severely-affected countries of the global warming phenomenon. The next decade will see a rise in the sea level leading to increasing incidences of floods and cyclones. This is most alarming news for a country which is regularly ravaged by natural disasters. We have often pointed out the fact that global warming and climate change in general pose a major threat to Bangladesh.
However, scientists have predicted that by 2050 Bangladesh could go under the sea. The delta falls between the Himalayas in the north and the Bay of Bengal to the south and are most vulnerable to natural disasters due to the frequency of extreme climatic events and the high population density. Bangladesh will definitely be affected by devastating floods, melting glaciers in the Himalayas and cyclones that originate in the Bay of Bengal, as well as water contamination and ecosystem destruction caused by rising sea levels. The rise in sea level will destroy normal characteristics of coastal soil and water. A 30-45cm sea-level rise will force the migration of about 35 million people living in coastal regions. Many of them will migrate to Dhaka, and other urban localities to eke out a meagre living.
Climate change is definitely a fact. Ironically Bangladesh contributes less than one per cent of the world's green house gas emission that is mostly responsible for global warming. Unfortunately countries like Bangladesh which is the least responsible for the phenomenon are suffering the most. The developing countries which emit the most green house gases do have a responsibility to help Bangladesh in its fights against the disastrous impact of climate change. As it is impossible for Bangladesh to stop climate change in tracks the solution lies in adaptation.
Bangladeshis have proved time and again that they are determined and resilient lot. The government has also taken up the matter in a serious manner. Already the government has invested 10 million taka to build cyclone shelters and create a storm early-warning system. Local communities should be motivated to get involved and the local government should value their involvement in adaptation against climate change.
At a broader stage, governments across the globe must realise that the responsibility to avert an environmental breakdown in the near future is a collective one. And political will is the number one priority. All countries, including Bangladesh, must not only enforce existing environmental laws but do much more to be energy-efficient in all sectors.