Excessive emissions of carbon dioxide are causing massive changes in the world’s climate and are having a devastating effect on the balance of the environment. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), carbon dioxide emissions around the world will rise alarmingly this year, A virtual climate conference was already held at the invitation of US President Joe Biden. Joe Biden says the final decision on climate change must be made this decade. He has promised to reduce his country’s carbon emissions by 50 to 52 percent by 2030 compared to 2005.

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change will be held in Scotland next November, and the Biden’s Conference ahead of this conference is undoubtedly an important step. The IEA report says global carbon dioxide emissions will increase by about 5 percent this year. 3300 crore tons of carbon dioxide emissions could be in 2021. The highest level of carbon dioxide emissions in history was in 2019 but the emission was slightly reduced due to the corona epidemic in 2020, and scientists fear that carbon emissions will increase again in 2021. China and the United States, two world powers, have agreed to work together to tackle climate change. The two countries have agreed to keep the average annual temperature within 1.5 degrees celsius following the Paris agreement. Carbon dioxide is the main cause of climate change, and China and the United States emit about half of this carbon dioxide. The phenomenon of global climate change is an unequal process. For example, one of the causes of climate change is carbon dioxide emissions, but Bangladesh’s contribution to that carbon dioxide emissions is only 0.28 percent, but Bangladesh is one of the most affected countries. Scientists predict that about 3 crore people in Bangladesh will be at extreme risk by the year 2050 due to rising sea levels. According to another report, by 2030, more than half a million people in Bangladesh will be at risk of various natural disasters every year due to climate change. 

Developed and industrialized countries are largely responsible for climate change, but the most affected are developing and poor countries. Developed countries have already emitted huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and now they are talking about reducing it, but no effective steps have been taken. Developed countries have no clear policy on how much carbon emissions they can control, they are doing what they want but the damage to the poor and developing countries is irreparable. Achieving the Paris Agreement targets requires reducing the use of fossil fuels to a certain level by 2030 and failing to do so will only worsen the situation. Despite commitment to tackling climate change, the World Bank and other agencies around the world continue to invest in fossil energy projects. On the one hand, there is talk of reducing the use of fossil fuels and on the other hand there is the trend of increasing investment in fossil fuels projects. This is in fact a contradictory policy. The Paris Agreement promises to reduce global carbon emissions to zero by 2050, but is the world really on that path? Developed and developing countries have made commitments to reduce carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, but they have failed to keep those promises. To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement,developed and developing countries must reduce their carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030. According to Oxfam, poor countries were supposed to get help in tackling climate change, but on the contrary, they are getting into more debt.

Coal, oil and mineral gas are the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions and people need to use them with extreme caution, otherwise there will be more damage around the world. Currently half of the carbon dioxide we emit is absorbed by land plants and oceans but this process will be weakened if the oceans become warmer and the land dries up. The climate crisis has already begun to hit low-lying areas, including coral islands. The atmosphere contains 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and only 0.3% carbon dioxide. But a slight increase of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere raises temperature in the atmosphere. If the atmosphere warms, polar ice caps melt, causing sea levels to rise and flooding islands with low lands. The ecosystem loses its balance and causes many major natural disasters, including droughts, famines and tidal surges. According to IFRC survey, over four lakh people have died in the last decade due to natural disasters related to weather and climate. Fifty developing countries will have to spend  5000  crore dollars a year to tackle climate change over the next decade. The whole world is in the throes of a corona pandemic today and at the same time the horrific event like climate change is occuring  and these two events are posing a terrible threat to the world in the days to come. There have been many global catastrophes in the last five decades and most of them are related to climate change. The IFRC report says there were 308 natural disasters in the world last year, 77% of which were related to climate and weather and these disasters have killed about 25,000 people.

The Covid-19 virus is the most serious threat to the world today, but the biggest threat could be climate change. According to the researchers, if 1 degree celsius temperature increases in a place, the amount of thunderbolts increases 12 percent and in the last 30 years, the global temperature has increased by more than one degree Celsius, resulting in a huge increase of thunderbolts.

Climate change is raising sea surface temperatures and causing cyclones and tidal surges in the oceans, and Sidr, Amphan, Aila,  Royanu are example of it.  190  countries  signed the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming within 2 degrees Celsius. Germany has decided to stop using coal as a fuel before 2038.  If other countries in the world take such a decision, it will be possible to control the climate crisis a lot Temperatures are rising sharply due to climate change in Germany, Iran, Iraq and Europe. Scientists warn that Siberian icebergs are melting and emitting more carbon and causing global warming. Achieving the Paris Climate Agreement targets the developed countries will have to reduce carbon emissions by 7 percent per year from now on.  

According to the WMO, methane and nitrous oxide contribute to warming, and these gases are increasing rapidly. The 60 percent increase of methane gas in the air is due to human activity. The current presence of methane in the atmosphere is 259 percent higher than in the pre-industrial era.  The good news, however, is that US President Joe Biden is taking steps to implement the Paris Agreement.  Climate is not a regional issue, so global action is needed to address any climate-related issues.  Just as people are changing the climate today by their actions, so too can people make this climate healthy and beautiful if they want to. If the world’s largest carbon emitters do not address this problem, Poor and developing countries will not have to do anything like that and only they will suffer.

The writer is Assistant Professor, B A F Shaheen College Kurmitola, Dhaka Cantonment.

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