Bangladesh likely to face drought for climate change impact

Women collecting water from a pond in Kamarkhola union of Khulna’s Dakop upazila, one of the country’s Southern districts. Residents of eight villages in and around the union are dependent on this pond for drinking water due to salinity of other water sources in their areas. This photo was taken on March 22, 2023.
block

Kamruzzaman Bablu :

Despite being a riverine country, due to continued greenhouse gas emissions will threaten Bangladesh’s safety and prosperity and the national economy is likely to face severe shocks that could halt running growth.
In this situation, expert predict that Bangladesh is likely to face extreme heat and humidity risks, like drought if continued sea-level rise caused by adverse impact of climate and it also will force millions of people from their homes threatening industry and agricultural production.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II AR6 report on climate impacts adaptation released recently and predicts it.

Dr Rawshan Ara Begum, one of the coordinating Lead Authors of the report said, “This report iterated that Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world due to climate change and sea level rise with projecting a loss of 2%-9% of annual GDP by mid and end of century, displace 1 to 2 million people of south Bangladesh by mid-century”, reports BSS Rice production is likely to decline by 12-17% and wheat production by 12-61% she said, adding this will further worsen the country’s current challenges including extreme poverty, income inequality, economic and non-economic losses and damages and low adaptive capacity.

Arfanuzzaman one of the lead authors of the IPCC report said, “The climate change impacts Bangladesh is facing today will increase substantially in the coming years. It is very likely that most of our existing adaption would be ineffective under both 1.5 and 2 crore warming conditions.” According to the report, parts of the country would lose 31-40% of agricultural output this century to sea-level rise alone because of current emission plans. And a third of the country’s power plans may need to be relocated over the next decade to avoid flooding from sea-level rise.

block

Moreover, the report suggests that Bangladesh is among the places that will experience intolerable heat and humidity unless carbon emissions are rapidly eliminated. If emissions continue to rise, parts of Bangladesh would exceed the threshold where heat and humidity becomes survivable for humans towards the end of this century.
“In Bangladesh, some communities for example small and landless farm households are already approaching soft limits to adapt to riverbank erosion. With further global warming of 1.5C, additional adaptation limits will emerge. To avoid increasing losses and limits, urgent and accelerated action is required to adapt to climate change, while making rapid and deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,” Dr. Rawshan told to The New Nation.
As a result of climate change and increasing demand for water, about 25% of people in Bangladesh will live with water scarcity by 2050, compared with about 10% now. Both the Ganges and Brahmaputra river basins will also see increased flooding as a result, she further said.

The report projects that while Bangladesh will be hit hard by the effects of climatic changes that happen within its border, it will also be deeply affected by the consequences of changes that happen elsewhere. Climate change will hit international supply chains, markets, finance, and trade, reducing the availability of goods in Bangladesh, and increasing their price, as well as damaging markets for Bangladeshi exports. Economic shocks caused by climate change, including reduced agricultural yields, damage to critical infrastructure, and commodity price rises, could lead to financial instability in the country.

“There is evidence that poor and least developed households, communities, and countries who are most affected and marginalized by climate change, and least responsible for its causes, receive relatively little financial support for adaptation,” added Dr. Rawshan.

“Bangladesh is a real example of this. International climate financing needs more attention to adaptation finance for managing climate risks in least developed and many developing countries,” she says. This report informs scientific evidence of climate change impacts and potential risks, as well as provide a range of adaptation options for reducing vulnerability and enhancing resilience. As Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries caused by climate change, this report really matters to each and all policy makers and citizens in our country so that we can consider climate change issues in everyday decisions.

“To reduce socio-economic and environmental vulnerability and build resilience Bangladesh must focus on transformative and multi-sectoral adaptations,” said Md. Arfanuzzaman.