Friday, December 14, 2018

Bangladesh needs to push rich countries to prioritise climate change issues: IPCC expert

  • Nurul Islam Hasib bdnews24.com
    Published: 2018-10-10 01:33:42 BdST

bdnews24

An expert of the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says Bangladesh needs to insist with the rich countries like Britain on making climate change the “top priority” as the global warming’s impacts will be worse than expected.

The findings of the new report released on Monday showed that the worst effects of global warming will only be prevented if the global temperature increase stays below 1.5 degrees Celsius, a figure the scientists think will be exceeded within around 20 years.

Prof Myles Allen from the University of Oxford told bdnews24.com that the report made it clear that "we have very simple choice – either we reduce emissions dramatically in the next decade or we need to develop the ability to get rid of very large among of carbon-dioxide".

He came to Dhaka on Tuesday to disseminate the report in which he has also contributed.

Climate scientists used to think that 2 degrees Celsius was a suitable level to cap global warming, but the Paris climate agreement in 2015 reflected a changing consensus.

The new IPCC report established that change and showed what the world can expect in two distinct global warming futures: 1.5C and 2C.

According to the report, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would require rapid, farreaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.

With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5 compared with 2 degrees could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society.

Prof Allen on the sidelines of the Dhaka dissemination told bdnews24.com that the report laid importance on the issues of “equity and ethics” in addressing the climate change.

“A country like Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to climate change and some studies found that Bangladesh is actually going to lose most economically as a result of climate change both in 2 degrees and 1.5 degrees,” he said.

“Bangladesh has an interest in the world addressing the problem and also an interest in addressing the problem justly in a way that addresses the need of the poor and vulnerable.

“And one of the things we need to think forward not only to reduce emission but also to address consequences of the climate change that we will have even in 1.5 degrees. We need to think about how this is going to be addressed."

Prof Allen said Bangladesh also has an interest as usual as it is using carbon both in transport sector and power generation.

“In the ‘net zero’ world which is not very far away to stabilise the climate we need to weigh up how Bangladesh could use that carbon without dumping CO2 in the atmosphere.”

“It's possible to do it. It costs a little bit more. You can make an argument that maybe the costs should not be borne by a country like Bangladesh, perhaps by a country like Britain that started putting carbon-dioxide 250 years ago. So that’s the kind of debate we should be having,” he said.

One of the key recommendations of the report is that the world must arrive at “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050, meaning any CO2 entering the atmosphere must be sucked back out.

“One of the facts we need to have to ground the debate is we will need the ability to get rid of carbon-dioxide. It's devilishly hard to get rid of. It's annoyingly stable gas. You cannot burn it. The only way to get rid of it is that it has to be injected into underground, injected into deep ocean,” the University of Oxford professor said.

The Institute of Water and Flood Management of BUET and the International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) jointly organised the dissemination event.

Prof AKM Saiful Islam of BUET, Dr Saleemul Huq of ICCCAD, and Dr Krishna Achuta Rao of the Indian Institute of Technology spoke at the event with BUET Vice-Chancellor Prof Saiful Islam in the chair.

The IPCC report will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this report testifies to the breadth and policy relevance of the IPCC.

Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius compared to 2 degree or more.

For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C.

The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C.

Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2ºC.