Bangladesh has been ranked seventh among the countries most affected by extreme weather events in 20 years since 1998, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2019. Bangladesh's ranking has gone a few notches down as last year the country stood ninth in the annual climate risk index. According to the new report, Last year, 407 people died in Bangladesh due to extreme weather-related events. The country also suffered an economic loss of about USD 2,826.68 million. And globally, 11,500 people died because of extreme weather events and economic damages totalled some USD 375 billion.
The situation is particularly worrying for Bangladesh because in recent years, it has witnessed more incidents of flash floods, cyclones, heavy rainfalls and landslides induced by climate change. But are we not also responsible to some extent for the situation? How much have we done to stop unplanned urbanisation, river grabbing, hill cutting, deforestation, air pollution, etc., that have been going on in the name of development across the country?
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted that risks associated with extreme events will continue to increase as the global mean temperature rises, Bangladesh must be proactive in fighting these events. As the annual global climate summit has been going on in Poland, the LDC group to which Bangladesh belongs, should raise its concerns about how to minimise the increasing level of loss and damage the member countries have been facing over the years.
Although many climate experts claim that Bangladesh has been the most resilient and adaptive country to climate change, in terms of fighting environmental degradations, we surely have not done enough. So while we must continue bargaining with the rich countries of the world to lower their carbon emissions which is mostly contributing to global temperature rise, we must also play our part nationally to stop destroying our environment at all cost.