Global climate has been facing a great challenge in its pattern since mid 20th century because of an increased atmospheric carbon dioxide produced mainly by fossil fuel use. It is the major threat to the world economy, to Asia’s as well, ingesting 1.6 per cent of world GDP per annum that might even rise to 3.2 per cent by 2030. Meanwhile, the current loss of around two per cent in Asia’s GDP will rise to around nine per cent by the end of this century indicating that South Asia will need to spend at least $73 billion every year to adapt to the adverse impacts of its climate change. A great threat to global energy and food security is imminent.
The high-income countries are dominating in annual emission of greenhouse gases; top ten countries discharge 68.62 per cent while states contributing the least in the change are the worst sufferers. The International Energy Agency has continually urged industrialised countries to reduce fossil fuel subsidies. In the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Warsaw, Poland in 2013, several countries attending the Conference were criticised for poor performance on recommended environmental pollution targets. Similar was the case in the Paris climate conference too.
A one-degree-Celsius rise in temperature is associated with 10 per cent productivity loss in farming. For Bangladesh, it means losing about four million tonnes of food grain, amounting to about $2.5 billion meaning again a total loss of about 3-4 per cent of national GDP. This is essentially because of the constant sea-level rising that quickens erosion and soil salinity. Consequently, a vast coastal area of more than 47,000 square kilometres, providing homes and sustenance to a rapid-growing population of around 36 million, will face increasing number of natural calamities in coming years. The huge area of the Sundarbans will go under the Bay of Bengal leaving Bangladesh in a wretched state.
Now it is up to the policymakers who should find out effective ways how to cope with all these.