Paris Climate Talks And Bangladesh

Paris Climate Talks And Bangladesh  Shafique Rahman

Climate change is not just an idea today. It is happening now, impacting communities, cities, ecology and entire living systems on earth. Not just on paper, the science is clearer than ever and it is distressing our real world experience, destabilising our climate, from floods to drought and wildfires to typhoon and super storms. One of the most disturbing ways that climate change is already playing out is what ecologists call “mismatch” or “mistiming.” This is the process whereby warming causes animals to fall out of step with a critical food source, particularly at breeding times, when a failure to find enough food can lead to rapid population losses. Furthermore, as the planet warms the melting ice caps are emerging to the sea and more than 100 million of the world's population live within 62 miles of the ocean, putting millions of lives and billions of dollars’ worth of property and infrastructure at risk. Like many other developing nations, Bangladesh also remains under the heavy risk of catastrophe caused by climate change. However, humanity has realized that the global eco system has no border and we need an immediate action to save the planet.

Environmental damage created by any region will affect the whole world. Most of the world population are affected by the result of climate change without having participated directly to the process of creating damage. China, United States and European Union are the top three regions to emit CO2 among a list of forty countries presented by EU Edgar Database. Even though, Climate change is a collective problem demanding collective action the likes of which humanity has never actually accomplished. Yet it entered mainstream consciousness in the midst of an ideological war being waged on the very idea of the collective sphere. To confront the climate catastrophe we urgently need deep cuts in emissions, reductions in fossil fuel extraction, increased public financing for adaptation and mitigation, and a shift towards green economy.

The Paris Agreement on climate change is a monumental success for the planet and its people. Denoted as COP21, Conference of Paris, was a remarkable shift in human history to set out the goals for protecting our planet. The Paris agreement, which will come into effect in 2020, will require all countries, rather than just the wealthy ones, to tackle climate change. The deal says the world will aim to stabilize global warming well below two degrees, and less if possible. Rousing applause and tears of joy filled the conference center as the deal was passed in the symposium on the northern outskirts of Paris earlier this month. The representatives of all 193 nations reached to the decision to limit rising global temperatures this century to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. Bangladesh along with all other countries agreed to the commitment. Being a part of collective action worldwide, Bangla¬desh’s plan toward this notion is literally far more ambitious than the other countries and that require us to re-think every aspect of our development sectors in term of environmental and social sustainability. The proposed INDC (Intended Nationally Deter¬mined Contri¬bu¬tions) of Bangladesh covers the reduction of emission and reduction of non-renewable energy consumption in eight broad categories. As specified in the INDC submitted, it covers the sectors of Power, Transport, Industry, Households, Com¬mercial Buil¬dings, Agriculture, Waste and Land Use. Each sector has an intended action, for example, 25% reduction of overall energy consumption in the commercial building sector or 400 MW of wind generating capacity in the power sector by 2030.

In the waste management sector we have decided to promote landfill gas capture and power generation from waste up-to 70%. Considering transportation we our commitment is to shift 20% traffic from road to rail, 15% improvement in the efficiency of vehicle or so forth. The accomplishment of this intended plan would not only be a contribution to the collective action, but also it would lead us to a more greener and livable country. However, the success lies in the availability of a huge funding, as well as substantial implication of legislations and development policies. Deaccelerating climate change means diminishing energy consumption, does that necessarily mean shrinking developments? In the prospect of developing countries, for us, it is the dilemma of political crisis, economy, aids, population, culture, religion and a thousand others. Confronting these various structural barriers is the critical work of any serious climate movement. Rather than framing our goals as the commitment, we need to consider it as saving ourselves from climate crisis.

We have set out an ambitious plan which would take us to a sustainable future in Bangladesh. We need to shift towards a different kind of society, shaped by principles of climate justice and respect for nature. For this, we must look beyond the Paris climate summit. A proper integration between policies, organizations, institutions across the country and a nationwide approach would bring the success.

The writer is an architect, currently working in the sustainable development sector in Australia Paris Climate Talks and Bangladesh Editorial, The Independent Dhaka. Sunday, December 27, 2015.   Original Publication: http://www.theindependentbd.com/printversion/details/28089 http://www.eindependentbd.com/arc/pre_page/2015-12-27/6