POST TIME: 7 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
Climate change issues

Climate change issues

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has highlighted the need for rapid, large-scale and coordinated action by all actors to make the world pollution-free noting the severity of the threats posed by pollution to both people and the planet. Pollution is indeed one of greatest threats that mankind is facing. The fact is pollution in one part of the world may have adverse impact on the whole planet. It is well known that it is the developed world which is mainly responsible for climate change and its impact. And unfortunately it is the developing world that is the main victim.

Weather conditions of Bangladesh and other also South Asia have become extremely volatile. A new study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology corroborates this. According to the research which is based on computer simulations, the impact of climate change in the South Asian region by 2100 will make it impossible for human survival.

Global warming is the consequence of the stock of greenhouse gas emissions, chiefly carbon-dioxide  which has accumulated in the earth’s atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel based industrial activity in the industrialised countries of the world. The United Nations recognises the historical responsibility of the developed countries in causing global warming even though current industrial activity in major developing countries such as China and even India is adding incrementally to that stock. For Bangladesh, the biggest climate challenges are food production, agricultural productivity; disasters, such as floods and heat waves; livelihood loss and most of all, water and energy.

If developed countries do not make significant and absolute reductions in their emissions there will be a progressively smaller carbon space available to accommodate the development needs of developing countries. The developed world must accept the fact that there is a difference between the emissions of developing countries which are “survival” emissions and those of developed countries which are in the nature of “lifestyle” emissions. They do not belong to the same category and cannot be treated on a par.

Unfortunately, far from accepting their historical responsibility developed countries are instead trying to shift the burden on to the shoulders of developing countries. This they have been doing by keeping attention focused on current emissions while ignoring the source of the stock of emissions in the atmosphere. A sustainable and effective climate change regime cannot be built on the basis of such inequity.