Bangladesh’s leading climate scientist Dr. A Atiq Rahman has said that the world is looking forward to positive outcomes of the Paris COP 21 talks of the parties to combat climate change although not much progress has been made in the negotiations held so far.
He said that greenhouse gas emissions increased 23 percent since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol although the world nations were committed to reducing the same. Then again although a 10 billion climate fund was created to help the least developed countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change the world’s poor continue to pay heavily for the wasteful consumption of the rich.
Dr Atiq Rahman was giving a talk at a programme organised by GreenWatch Dhaka, an online daily committed to the promotion of sustainable life, at the National Press Club. The function was also addressed by south Asia’s renowned urban geographer Prof. Nazrul Islam, and former adviser to the UN on water and environment Dr. SI Khan with editor Mostafa Kamal Majumder in the chair.
Dr. Atiq Rahman however sounded a note of optimism that a Netherlands court has of late ruled that increase of global warming by the state is a crime against its citizens while Pope Francis from the Vatican has started strongly advocating against the throwaway culture of the rich and said that we cannot call those making weapons as human beings. He said that insurance and reinsurance companies have started calculating risks to their businesses being increased by climate change
Yet despite the pressure coming from the group of 77, and the small island states, the basic principles on which the development agenda beyond 2015 shall have to be based remains as thick as 80 pages because of differences of opinion, but it has to be narrowed down to four paged for a meaningful package, he said.
However in the end there has to be something because the realisation is greater than ever before that things are going seriously in the wrong direction, as at least 4000 deaths have been caused in South Asia due to heat related causes due to failure of the monsoon affected by climate change.
Prof. Nazrul Islam said that Poor nations like Bangladesh are paying for the lapses and commissions of the developed countries. The burden of the climate induced disasters are seriously affecting the environment of the cities which are attracting people from rural areas in ever increasing rates because of the concentration of more income-generating activities.
Prof. Nazrul underlined the need for strengthening moral pressure against destruction of the environment and said that sermons could be given through the mosques on the days of jumma prayers for this. The eminent urban geographer emphasised the need for proper utilisation of the billions of takas allocated for climate change mitigation and adaptation activities, and drew attention to the fact that according to reports money from such funds had been allocated to at least two dozens non-existent NGOs.
Dr. SI said that in many countries of the world including Japan lessons on environment has been introduced in prinmary schools to increase the awareness about the environment. He said that Japan had withdrawn from the Kyoto protocol primarily due to political pressure from the USA.
GreenWatch Dhaka editor Mostafa Kamal Majumder said that similar developmental dialogue would continue to serve the people with accurate, unbiased and credible information and interpretation of events, issues and problems that affect their life, and help indicate the paths to mitigate, adapt to and overcome global warming-induced environmental disasters. – Staff Reporter