It is now clear that we are facing an existential crisis of climate emergency. The issue has turned into a question of whether we will be able to sustain prosperously within our planetary boundaries. In midst of all the debates and discourse surrounding climate crisis, it appears that many people dismiss the apocalyptic prophesy regarding climate change. When climate scientists and environmentalists alarm us about the damages, they suggest we bring radical shift to reduce carbon emissions immediately, otherwise we will pave way for drought, migration, displacement and loss of human lives.
If proper actions are not taken, then many countries will have to face dire consequences because of it. And, one of the countries which is going to get most affected by it is Bangladesh.
In the recent years, the country has experienced a rapid spell of socio-economic development- enshrined with real GDP growth rates of over 7% since the year 2016. The government initiatives for sectoral diversification in sectors of power generation, export-oriented businesses and ICT augmentation, have been instrumental to lead the country towards economic prosperity. Bangladesh which is predicted to become the 30th largest economy in the world in the year 2024, surpassing economic powerhouses like Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark and Norway, however, is set to experience major economic detriment due to climate change.
According to a recent paper published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), questions of uncertainty have been raised regarding the continuation of this impressive strides towards economic growth in the wake of environmental damages posed by climate crisis. ADB’s study suggests that during the period 2040-2059, the South Asian country will suffer the loss of 36.49% of its GDP per Capita. Despite producing only 0.25% of total global emissions, Bangladesh is considered to be the worst sufferers of climate change. Although developing countries are the least responsible in generating carbon emissions and in making the planet warmer, they, nevertheless, bear most of the brunt. The paper presented that in South Asia, India and Pakistan will respectively lose 38.78% and 39.54% of GDP per capita.
The Asian Development Bank advocates some policy recommendations to tackle climate change through effective environmental governance. It suggests that Asian countries, along with their robust economic growth have experienced discernible degree of environmental degradation, ranging from high level of air pollution to climate change that erodes the quality of human life.
The environmental economists and climate scientists suggest that carbon taxes are introduced to mitigate problems of climate change and that adaptive measures are sought, for instance, through climate-tolerant crop varieties in agriculture. Moreover, the environmental economist, Maximillian Auffhammer, suggests, ‘’ If we are serious about engaging in mitigation actions, costs will be incurred in the near future to achieve emission reductions. These will bring about hard-to-measure benefits in terms of avoiding climate change further in the future. As climate change is a global phenomenon, not a single economy or group of economies can solve this problem.”
It is important to understand that countries around the globe have to come forward to tackle this long-term problem of climate crisis. The western governments may find it favourable to implement subcontracting decarbonisation to financial markets. But it is the world leaders who must take the initiative to bring about changes in their policymaking decisions. It is solely up to the politicians who can edict the required regulatory alterations, advance new technologies, and construct the fiscal scheme from which an innovative energy system can come to the fore.
The reduction of carbonisation cannot be assigned to well-meaning financiers, or altruistic businesspeople. It is only through sound thought policy that emissions can be brought down.
Apart from the issue of climate crisis, I believe we are all aware that we have now entered a new year and also our epiphany term. I wish everyone best of luck with their studies and upcoming plans. Below are all the articles which I have chosen for this week’s editor’s pick.