Climate change is no more a hidden issue. The LANCET report on ‘Pollution’ published on October 22, 2017 claims that ‘nearly 92% pollution related deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries’ and the fossil fuel combustion in higher-income countries and burning of biomass in lower-income countries accounts for 85% of air pollution which is closely related to climate change. The list of Environmental Performance Index enlisted Bangladesh as the second worst country in curbing environmental pollution. Bangladesh being an over populated developing country is constantly facing the challenge of coping with the environmental degradations due to climate change.
Year by year, the records of the past are broken in almost all the outburst due to changes in climate pattern. The flood of 2017 which surpassed all the records of past did not occurred from our own territorial activities rather it’s a trans-national issue which is been identified in many inter-governmental conferences.
To combat the crisis of climate change, Bangladesh has already established a national climate fund titled Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund. The government has also adopted the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA 2005) under the requirement of UNFCC (United Nations Framework Convention on the Climate Change 1992) setting out 15 immediate adaptation measures. Other measures of the government include making of the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategic Action Plan (BCCSAP) 2009, the Disaster Management Act 2010, the Control of Brick Burning Act 2013, the amalgamation of three individual ministries into one- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
The developed countries were committed under Kyoto Protocol 1997 to curb their anthropogenic emissions of CFC, carbon-di-oxide, methane, etc. to a rate as set by the Protocol which was supposed to expire in 2012, but they failed and extended their commitment period up to 2018 in Doha Decision (Conference of the Parties 18). Under this Protocol, the developed countries are also bound to curb carbon emissions through emission trading with the developing countries by expanding the technological support to enlarge the environment friendly development works in developing countries. But as we are known with the ship breaking business we can realise what we are getting in the name of technological support.
Despite having all kinds of laws regarding the preservation of environment, we are repeatedly facing with immense failure. The reason is that a single country like Bangladesh cannot win the fight on its own when the issue (i.e. climate change) is a global one. This is an appeal to all of the countrymen and the international environment activist to get united to stop such horrible crimes that are yet to be recognised as crimes against environment and take a step forward to recognise the pollution as a criminal offence. Because a harm to the common interest is a crime against all the commons. In all levels, let us stand against pollution and say unitedly – stop, before it’s too late!
The writer is Student of Law, Jahangirnagar University.