Bangladesh needs to invest about Tk3.2 trillion over the next 15 years to counter the effects of climate change. The sum is 8 per cent more than the fiscal year’s national budget and big enough to fund the construction of 11 Padma bridges.
A document prepared by the ministry of environment and forests for the climate change summit held in Paris last month gives this indication of the financial requirement.
The document says Bangladesh will have to invest Tk213.33 billion annually, until 2030, in 10 fields, including health and agriculture, to combat the effects of climate change.
Fazle Rabbi, coordinator of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation’s (PKSF) community climate change project, says Bangladesh must start the work immediately to get this money as compensation from developed nations.
Rabbi, who took part in the Paris meet, said quoting an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report that Bangladesh was at present losing about 2 per cent of its GDP annually because of climate change.
The Copenhagen climate meet had agreed to create a $100 billion fund to help countries affected by climate change.
But the initiative remained stalled over disagreement regarding countries’ share of contribution and the fund disbursement process.
But a decision was reached in Paris with developed nations agreeing to give, after 2020, $100 million annually for climate-vulnerable nations. They also agreed to subsequently increase the aid money.
Low-income countries and island nations will get priority in the grant of financial help to fight natural disasters and make adaptations.
Rabbi said ministries in Bangladesh must be properly equipped to prepare projects to get money from the ‘Green Climate Fund’.
Only enlisted establishments would be entitled to money from the green fund, he said.
Rabbi also underscored various aspects of damage caused by climate change.
“Rainfall has already become erratic. Rain that is supposed to spread over three days now comes pouring down in one day. There is unseasonal rain, the frequency of cyclones has increased and so have the number of droughts.”
He said the maximum impact of climate change was being felt in agriculture, the sector that accounts for 18 per cent of Bangladesh’s national income and about 87 per cent of employment. The salinity was causing the spread of diseases and affecting infrastructure.
“Earlier, Aman rice was the main crop. Now, erratic rain and the ease of lifting groundwater (for irrigation) have made Boro rice the staple crop. Besides, almost the whole of the country’s southern region has become saline,” Rabbi said.
The Paris agreement has fixed global warming limits to less than two degrees above pre-industrial level.
It would come into force after 55 countries that account for 55 per cent of greenhouse gas emission ratify it.
The PKSF coordinator said that although the U.S. and China are responsible for 50 per cent of global emissions but all 55 countries that account for 55 per cent of the emission must take actions to rectify their contribution to pollution.
Earlier, 40 developed nations had been asked to cut emissions, but in Paris, all countries were asked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ‘accordance with their ability’.
Rabbi said Bangladesh, too, would have to cut fuel, transport and industrial greenhouse gas emission by 5 percent within 2030.
“All countries barring Nicaragua have consented to the Paris agreement, and, hopefully, it will become binding,” Rabbi said, according to bdnews24.com. - Idrak