Saturday, 2 July, 2022

Climate Change — Earth on the Verge of Collapse

Dr Matiur Rahman

Climate Change — Earth on the Verge of Collapse
Dr Matiur Rahman

Scientists have long warned that climate change is a consequence of human activity, which can lead to unusual phenomena in different parts of the world. Amid the Corona pandemic and Ukraine crises, the world got bad news again. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned of serious consequences shortly if global warming is not reduced now.

A report of IPCC has given such a horrible prediction. If necessary steps are not taken immediately, catastrophes like droughts, floods and heat waves will increase in the world. The report reminds us that the effects of climate change are being felt extremely right now. Human beings and nature have to deal with more extreme weather than 20 years ago. Incidents like temperature change or heavy rainfall are seen more frequently. More and more deadly diseases are spreading among animals, agriculture and people. The United Nations says a healthy ecosystem and rich biodiversity must be ensured to curb such trends. If this is possible, the way of welfare and livability of the people will be sustained.

The report also mentioned that this year will probably be one of the coldest in this century as our planet continues to heat up. According to the IPCC, world governments will not limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as promised in the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In the opposite atmosphere, greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. Even for decades, emissions have reached an all-time high on average every year.

In this situation, the world is moving towards a rise in temperatures of more than 3 degrees Celsius in the coming decades. Rising temperatures at this rate will heat much of the world so much that usual activities cannot be done. Acute harvest problems will become the norm. Ice caps will disappear and big cities will sink. But governments are still hesitant to give up their vested interests. Instead, they focus on protecting historic investments in fossil fuels.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has mentioned that this system cannot continue. He has rightly said that the world is rapidly moving towards a climate catastrophe. He also frankly said that the countries and corporations of the world are not only pretending not to see a planetary catastrophe but are also fueling the flames. In contrast, there is little time to implement the policies adopted to adopt the necessary eco-friendly lifestyles and promote cheap and renewable alternatives. To achieve the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world must reduce its annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 50 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. For this, the use of fossil fuels should be reduced rapidly. The UN scientists have argued that achieving a green and secure future depends on energy efficiency and conservation.

Antonio Guterres wrote in a tweet that he had seen many reports on climate change. But he has never before seen such a grim picture as the latest IPCC report highlights the failure of leadership to tackle climate change. According to him, people all over the world like him are worried and angry. He has called for an end to the crackdown on the climate change issue. He also expressed outrage at how a handful of countries and large corporations are undermining the rights of the rest of the world. Governments have failed in their duty, which he considers a crime. He emphasized the need to implement the plan quickly and on a large scale.

Global temperatures are now surpassing the 1.5 degrees Celsius promised in the Paris Agreement. Exceeding this limit can still have the same effect as a dead coral wall. Under these circumstances, there was a great opportunity for rapid change to move away from the current epidemic of fossil fuels. Most governments around the world have lost that opportunity. Now comes another opportunity for countries concerned about Russia's war in Ukraine over its reliance on hydrocarbons.

Bangladesh, a country of 170 million people, is one of the most at risk from the effects of climate change like floods, cyclones, droughts, tidal surges, tornadoes, earthquakes, river erosion, and water logging, soil salinity, etc. Bangladesh, a country located in South Asia is the most affected country by climate change in the world. This climate change has a huge impact on the country’s agriculture, infrastructure, and way of life.

This is mainly because of the geographical location of the country, making it highly vulnerable to natural disasters. Bangladesh has a flat, low lying landscape, and a lack of institutional setup. Climate change is becoming a very crucial issue for the citizens and government of Bangladesh. More than 80% of the land is prone to flooding. About two-thirds of Bangladesh’s population is engaged in agriculture. So climate change will affect these farmers in a bad way.

The World Bank warns that Bangladesh will suffer climate change the worst by the year 2100. The report estimates that the sea level will rise by 3 feet. This will cause huge flooding, and the falling of crops in the country. It is also mentioned that this will cause poverty and inflation.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 stated to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Thus, failure to address those targets will lead the nations to more climate-induced natural disasters.

The 27th Climate Conference is ahead. New targets will be set there to protect the environment. But the decision made by 120 countries at the Paris climate meeting has not been fulfilled. That is clear in the UN report. According to the report, the level of pollution in the world's temperature could rise by 2.7 degrees Celsius in this century. While it was agreed at the Paris Climate Conference, the temperature should be kept within an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It is said that to prevent the rise in temperature by 2030, the world's carbon emissions must be reduced by 26 gigatons every year. That is, each country would have to reduce its annual carbon footprint by 30 per cent.

The Paris Climate Conference allowed each country to set its targets for reducing carbon emissions. But it is now clear that there was no significant gain. As a result, the temperature has risen to 2.7 degrees Celsius. According to experts, if strict measures are not taken at this conference, we will have to face a terrible situation in the coming days. Climate change has caused global warming this year. There has been a lot of damage from fires, heat waves and floods. The whimsical form of the weather can be seen everywhere.

Climate change is now the biggest threat to humans and all other organisms at the moment. Failure to take effective action now will have even more devastating effects. Deaths of thousands of people and other animals every year are already pointing the finger at it. Thus, for all nations, it has now become a crucial issue to deal with this climate change to protect our loving planet.


The writer is a researcher and development worker