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“A third of my country was just underwater”; PM of Bangladesh Writes in the Guardian

Floods add another layer to the problems created by the pandemic in China, Japan, and Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the hardest-hit countries with Cyclone Amphan affecting 2.4 million people. Here Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh and chairman Climate Vulnerable Forum describes the problem Bangladesh is facing. Rising seawaters could lead to the abandonment of coastal and low-lying regions on the coast by mid-century, with Bangladesh, India, China, and Indonesia being severely affected in Asia.

Here’s the republished article:

One-third of my country was underwater final month. The heaviest rains in virtually a decade started and have nonetheless not abated. More than 1.5 million Bangladeshis are displaced; tens of hundreds of hectares of paddy fields have been washed away. Millions of my compatriots will want meals to assist this year.

Calamities, alas, by no means strike alone. The floods, which come within the wake of widespread destruction brought on by Cyclone Amphan in May, are making it tougher to comprise the coronavirus. More than 2.4 million folks had already been moved from the damaging path of the storm without delivering them into the even larger hazard of Covid-19. Yet whereas an infection and demise charges have been contained, issues stay till a foolproof safeguard is acquired. Economic lockdowns have hit our textile business and exports and compelled a whole lot of hundreds of our worldwide migrant staff to return residence, with the overwhelming majority remaining unemployed.

“This isn’t a cry for assist; it’s a warning”

Like many different climate-vulnerable nations throughout the globe, Bangladesh is making an attempt to avoid wasting lives, shore up healthcare techniques, and cushion the financial shock for hundreds of thousands of folks, all whereas avoiding fiscal collapse.
But this isn’t a cry for assist; it’s a warning. For whereas different international locations could also be much less uncovered to the climate disaster, they won’t be able to flee its damaging power for lengthy.

Countries extra lucky than mine ought to take a protracted, arduous have a look at what we’re battling. Recent research suggests rising sea ranges will power a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of folks to desert low-lying coastal cities worldwide by mid-century. Will the worldwide neighborhood act in time to avert this disaster?
Our climate emergency and Covid-19 are world threats. Both had been predictable, and we might have ought to have achieved rather more to reduce the dangers. But now that they’re upon us, one of the simplest ways to reply, absolutely, is thru concerted worldwide motion.
Both the climate disaster and the pandemic are complicated issues with many ramifications. They will both be solved collectively, or under no circumstances. It will likely be futile to spend a whole lot of billions of {dollars} to safe a Covid-19 vaccine for one nation alone, if the pandemic is allowed to rage elsewhere. And will probably be equally pointless for a majority of nations to rein of their emissions and construct extra sustainable economies if the world’s largest emitters don’t do the identical.

The G20 international locations are responsible for about 80% of complete world emissions, whereas the underside 100 international locations only account for 3.5%. The world can’t efficiently deal with the climate problem without important motion from everybody.
The 2015 Paris settlement continues to be our greatest probability to comprise world warming and restrict its most pernicious results. To date, 189 international locations have ratified a treaty that commits them to collectively lower emissions to cease world temperatures from rising by greater than 2C above pre-industrial ranges, and to attempt to restrict the rise to 1.5C if doable. That final, extra bold objective was proposed by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), which I chair – a bunch of 48 international locations disproportionately affected by a warming planet, Bangladesh amongst them. CVF nations have been on the forefront of climate adaptation in addition to climate change, selling initiatives corresponding to constructing stronger shelters towards cyclones and replanting mangrove forests to guard coastal communities from sea surges. In acknowledgment of this vital work, the Global Center on Adaptation will open a workplace in Dhaka this month to increase these finest practices throughout South Asia.

The world’s poorest, most weak international locations to climate change have stored our facet of the discount. According to the Sustainable Development Report 2020, 43 international locations in Africa and plenty of extra throughout Asia and Latin America have achieved our climate motion objectives. The wealthy world has not. International funding for climate adaptation continues to be far short of what is needed. Furthermore, new, extra bold climate initiatives are unlikely to succeed without larger management and world-class expertise and pioneering climate analysis which have delivered so many ground-breaking options to this point.

“If we don’t enhance our ambition, we’ll all lose out”

If we don’t enhance our ambition, we’ll all lose out. As many international locations and firms can attest, discovering low-carbon options and minimizing climate dangers are the most effective methods of constructing extra resilient, extra environment friendly and extra aggressive economies. We all profit from thriving buying and selling companions in a low-carbon resilient world. Surely nobody is in favor of the choice – a fractured world order by which even wealthy international locations are impoverished by the damaging power of world warming.
The climate disaster, Covid-19 and its financial fallout are crying out for worldwide management and cooperation. No country ought to flip its again on the remainder of the world at the moment. At the following UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, international locations must decide to enhancing their nationally decided contributions and finally give us hope for tackling all the opposite issues that afflict our collective existence.

By Sanjida Jannat

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