Greener future for next generation

2 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh is vulnerable to climate change. Its impacts are being felt acutely due to occurrence of frequent tropical storms, cyclones, flooding and other natural disasters throughout the year. Local inhabitants are living in constant threats of riverbank erosion, landslides, salinity intrusion and other climate hazards. Slow onsets of environmental degradation such as droughts and sea level rise have multiplied their woes. The phenomenon is destroying livelihoods, infrastructure and communities. 

Climate change-induced salinity has particularly affected soil across the country's vast coastal belt. It has been predicted that in the coming decades, salinity of soil will significantly increase in many areas of Barishal, Chattogram and Khulna divisions. The process of salinity has been exacerbated by rising sea level which might increase internal migration, especially from the three divisions. It has been estimated that by the year 2050, one in every seven people in the country will be displaced due to climate change.

Because of sea level rise alone, up to 18 million people might have to move away from their homes and towns. According to relevant sources, up to 50% inhabitants of urban slums countrywide are direct victims of riverbank erosion. As mass migration impacts people's socio-economic condition, there is no alternative to green growth.

However, from its limited resources, the government has taken several measures to combat the climate issue. Being a member of the P4G, Bangladesh pursues a low carbon development path. Its Solar Energy Action Plan 2021-2041 predicts generation of up to 40 Giga Watts of renewable energy by 2041. It has adopted a 100-year sustainable development plan styled as Delta Plan 2100 for efficient use and preservation of water. It has also established a ‘Climate Change Trust Fund’ from its own resources to combat the global issue. In a recorded speech broadcast in the ‘Leader’s Session’ of the two-day Second Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals-P4G Summit  in Seoul, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina revealed that every year, her government spends about 5 billion US dollars on climate adaptation and mitigation measures.

The international community should come forward without further delay to help vulnerable countries cope with the pressing issue of climate change and overcome the impacts of global warming. Affluent countries must have to fulfil their promises by contributing to the country's climate fund to build a greener future.