Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday demanded allocation of Tk 1,000 crore in the next budget to combat the adverse effects of climate change. The Bangladesh chapter of Germany-based anti-graft watchdog issued a statement in this regard.
“During the first three years, the government allocated Tk 700 crore per year to Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund, but the budget has not increased compared to the increasing climate change-related risks,” Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of TIB, said in the statement.
Since the 2009-10 fiscal, the government has been allocating funds to the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF).
Terming the existing trend of fund reduction “concerning”, Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, “The fund has not increased in accordance with the risks of loss due to climate change. Bangladesh’s access to the international fund is also not satisfactory.”
To make up for the deficit in BCCTF, the TIB executive director strongly urged the government to allocate the said amount of money for the fund in the next budget.
He also called for ensuring “transparency and accountability” in BCCTF management. “Otherwise, Bangladesh could face challenges in gaining access to the international fund for climate change,” Dr Iftekharuzzaman said.
He also urged the government to adopt a set of “strategical directives” to ensure the right use of the fund.
Due to its geography, Bangladesh has always been vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. More than three-quarters or 13.4 crore of around 16.5 crore population of Bangladesh are at the risk of declining living standards as a result of rising temperature and erratic rainfall due to climate change, according to a World Bank report published in September last year.
Rising temperature could affect living standards in diverse ways. Top among them are fall in agricultural and labour productivity and rise in spread of vector-borne and other infectious diseases resulting in lost productivity and income, the report added.
Also, it can force people out of their traditional professions and cause migration.
The decline in living standards as a result of changes in average weather could cost a loss of 6.7 percent or $171 billion of Bangladesh’s Gross Domestic Product by 2050 unless actions are taken to reduce emissions and global annual average temperature increase, the report warned.