With a population of over 170 million, our beloved motherland is Bangladesh. Economically we are very backward. The key challenges to our development are achieving food security, ensuring education and medical care for all citizens of the country, and achieving overall economic growth through poverty alleviation. The adverse effects of climate change are and will continue to hamper our development progress.
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world due to climate change. Millions of people in the country have faced severe natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, tidal surges, hurricanes and droughts at various times. In the 1960’s, scientific data strengthened the notion that the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on human activity were linked to global warming. Greenhouse gas emissions have affected global climate change. From this idea, the conscious community realized the need to take effective action in this regard. The General Assembly of the United Nations formed the National Assembly in 1990 and convened the General Assembly on the same day. The convention blames the countries of the developed world for emitting greenhouse gases and blames the developed world for the problem and mentions the need for the developed world to come forward to solve the problem. The Convention stipulates that by 2000 all industrialized nations must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990. Bangladesh signed the convention in 1992 and ratified it in 1994.
Scientists are now trying to mimic this natural phenomenon. They want to combat global warming by releasing sulfur particles into the atmosphere. “Our idea is that it is technically possible to release sulfur into the stratosphere,” said Ulrike Nimayer of the Max Planck Institute in Germany. These tiny particles can cover a portion of sunlight just like a reflector. Matching such a protective umbrella over the earth will make it possible to reduce global warming. Nevertheless, scientists around the world are looking for ways to intervene in the climate with the help of technology. Interference in the chemical and physical processes of the earth’s motion is known as ‘climate engineering’. Some of the ideas may seem seemingly simple. Such as the initiative to store carbon-di-oxide in the ocean. This is because cold water can hold much more carbon dioxide than warm water. Cool water can be lifted from the depths of the ocean to the upper reaches through huge pipes. The oceans will then absorb the excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Oceanographer Pro. “Through model simulations, we have come up with the idea that in this way we can compensate for the loss of 10 percent of current carbon emissions,” said Andreas Oslis. But it will have to intervene in the vast ecosystem of the Southern Ocean. There will be an increase in allergies and a decrease in oxygen.
Similar results have been obtained by conducting experiments in the Arctic Ocean. Researchers have cultivated phytoplankton by applying fertilizers. They retain harmful carbon-di-oxide as they develop. Plankton then sank to the bottom of the ocean. In this way carbon-di-oxide can be removed safely. The current can spread phytoplankton to oceans around the world through currents. However, even in this case, it will be possible to reduce emissions by 10 percent. Its impact on ecosystems is also uncertain.
Global climate change will exacerbate the climate crisis in some regions and pose a greater threat to the relatively vulnerable people living in coastal areas. In addition, it is clear that poverty is one of the biggest factors behind the creation of a risky climate. In the future, climate change could have a huge impact on Bangladesh’s economy. Coastal areas are most at risk from the effects of floods and other climate change, so they are more focused on solving the problems in these areas.
The first solution they offer is to conserve mangroves. Bangladesh can conserve mangroves in coastal areas as well as replant trees, which will carbonize the environment as well as act as a natural shield against cyclones. Mangroves provide some additional benefits, including increasing biodiversity, fish habitat and ecotourism. But it is very expensive, because in this system mangroves have to be planted on about 40 km of coastline every year. Mangrove conservation in the Sundarbans will require more than Tk 10,500 crore over the next 30 years. All in all, besides the protection of climate protection and development of tourism, the welfare spent on the conservation and rehabilitation of mangroves will be Tk 2.8 per rupee.
The second option is to set up early warning systems and build shelters, where people can take shelter in the event of a cyclone. Many do not use existing shelters because they cannot afford to keep their livestock and other valuable livestock there, so the proposed structure will accommodate both humans and cattle. About 530 shelters are needed in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. The third possible solution is to build dams around low-lying land, which will protect agricultural land, houses and infrastructure from floods. However, its benefits depend on the type of flood. If the flood waters flow at a height of more than 3 meters, which happens regularly in some areas, cracks in the land dams often catch up and it is of no use. These are also very expensive and it will cost Bangladesh more than Tk 36,200 crore to do these. Where flood waters exceed a height of more than 3 meters, the cost of building a dam will be more than the benefits available. A good idea is to look at areas where flood waters flow at a height of less than 3 meters, even if it is enough to cause death and destruction. In these cases, a benefit of Tk 1.8 will be available for every Tk.
In fact, the research of these two economists is part of the Bangladesh Priorities Project, which also looks at many other solutions that help build Bangladesh into a stronger and more prosperous state. The project, a joint venture between the Copenhagen Consensus Center and BRAC, employs dozens of top economists from the country, the region and around the world. The cell is also working to enhance the capacity of officials of various government agencies, especially the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The cell has also undertaken various research activities and modeling activities on climate change. It is hoped that there will be opportunities to raise funds from a variety of international sources to tackle climate change.
Ultimately, it can be said without hesitation that our own allocations or the prospect of international funding are inadequate compared to the huge adaptive action that Bangladesh needs to take due to climate change. Our climate change adaptation activities must be integrated with our overall development plans and development activities.
Zannatul Mouwa Naz is a student of Environmental Science and Engineering, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University Trishal, Mymensingh, Bangladesh