Covid-19 has also taken global attention away from the climate change crisis, which is only getting worse

The current global pandemic has led to increased uncertainty and concern surrounding the climate crisis. Many have welcomed the drop in carbon emissions during the first few months of lockdown last year, and subsequently hailed the virus as a “great equalizer” — a notion that has been criticized for its disregard towards disadvantaged and marginalized communities that are often hit the hardest, both by health and climate crises. Covid-19 has also taken global attention away from the climate change crisis, which is only getting worse.

Bangladesh has long been among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. And despite its own propositions to tackle the issue, it will be nigh impossible to impact change if collective global action is not adopted, especially by countries generating the highest levels of pollution each year.

However, while it is important to ad-dress the issue keeping global cooperation in mind, it is equally important to tackle climate change at local levels as well. According to Ineza Umuhoza Grace, an impact-driven eco-feminist, “it is possible to achieve climate stability as long as community voices, experience, and engagement are recognized.” She puts a particular emphasis on climate efforts led by women and the youth.

She also highlights the importance of communities adopting sustainable and nature-based solutions. There are already several projects, such as those hosted by Brac and ICLEI, working in Bangladesh to support local-led actions and build community resilience. UN initiatives focusing on encouraging and involving the youth in climate related innovation are also underway.

Leaving out or sidelining demographics most affected by climate change from plans and narratives will do us no good. It is imperative that we use all resources and opportunities at hand to tackle one of the greatest threats to human survival.

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