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Policy agenda for addressing climate change in Bangladesh: Copenhagen and beyond

The paper analyses the impact of climate change on Bangladesh, and focuses on initiatives within the country to mitigate against climate change.

The most severe impact of global warming is expected to be felt in the rising sea level of the Bay of Bengal, which is anticipated to submerge 20 per cent of the total land of Bangladesh. The effects of sea level rise (SLR) will be manifested in various ways such as increased rates of coastal erosion, loss of coastal vegetation and habitats, intrusion of salt into groundwater system and coastal ecosystems, temporary and permanent flooding, and storm surges. These effects will in turn have negative consequences on agriculture, water resources, commercial and residential property values, energy and transportation systems, and human health and safety.

The predicted outcome of climate change will have major impact on the less developed countries. Bangladesh has already been experiencing climatic variability and extreme weather events. Droughts, floods and other natural disasters are seriously disrupting the economic growth and poverty reduction processes in the country. Two floods and a cyclone are the recent evidences of climate change as a result of which there was a fall in agricultural production and reduction in GDP growth. This led to food shortage and price hike, disproportionally affecting the poor.