Dhaka,   Monday 28 November 2022

The South Asian Times | সাউথ এশিয়ান টাইমস

A comprehensive coordinated action plan must for South Asian nations to resolve climate change leadi

Mozidur Rahman Biswas

Published: 23:57, 27 September 2022

A comprehensive coordinated action plan must for South Asian nations to resolve climate change leadi

Within the ongoing crises all over the globe, where   economies, overall lives of human beings have been almost  shattered and ecology or total ecosystem has also been totally unbearable due to severe heat during this summer across South Asian countries. The recent deadly flood in Pakistan in August are stark reminders of the impact ofclimate change on these countries as the  devastating flood reportedly have killed nearly 1,500 lives in that country  and cost the economyover USD 10 billion, according to latest information. If we go to focus on the above issue and connected questions and problems,   it is a clear fact that the annual rainfall has steadily declined in the entire South Asian region. A vast portion of the South Asian regions experienced triggering droughts followed by increased rains causing flash floods here and there. There is no need to mention that the entire scenario is the result of climate change; anthropogenic climate change is responsible for the increase in the frequency, intensity, and amount of heavy rainfall globally. In view of that, many countries in the South Asian region also face the challenge of a rising sea level. Earlier, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that the region would experience a sea-level rise leading to a loss of its land surface and internal migration. Weather variations and climate change due to global warming have caused severe economic damage and loss of lives. In the last two centuries, 20 out of 23 major cyclones in the world have occurred in the region – particularly in Bangladesh and India. In 2007, Cyclone Sidr destroyed cropland, forest resources, livestock, and crop production in Bangladesh. In Nepal, forest fires destroyed community forests in 2016, and landslides regularly claim lives each year. Sri Lanka faces huge crop losses due to groundwater salinity and coastal erosion. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), GDP in the South Asian economies may be reduced by 11 percent in 2100 under the business-as-usual emissions scenario.
Over the years, the South Asian countries made tremendous progress in terms of higher economic growth and per capita income. They have experienced structural transformation in their economies, with a decrease in the share of agriculture and an increase in that of industry and services sectors. Such impressive growth, however, does not readily guarantee sustainable development as the region is facing many climate-induced challenges. The vulnerability to climate change has been adversely impacting human settlements, infrastructure, agricultural production, food security, water quality and human health in the region.  Therefore, economic growth must be accompanied by the internalisation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in policy discourses and the adaptive capacity to deal with the impact of climate change for sustainable growth. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 calls for taking urgent steps to combat climate change and its impacts. Climate change can also hamper progress towards SDGs such as poverty
eradication, zero hunger, health, water, clean energy, infrastructure, economic growth, sustainable cities, and the overall well-being of society, as well as increase the cost of implementing SDGs. Since the South Asian countries are committed to implementing the SDGs by 2030, they must prioritise these challenges.
Economists and financial analysts focusing on the nature of climate-induced problems faced by the countries in South Asia suggested that the policymakers should undertake both adaptation and mitigation measures. According to them, most countries in the region are severely affected by climate change despite being insignificant emitters. That is why adaptation measures in the region must be scaled up to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change, in accordance with the Global Goal set on Adaptation (GGA) in the last Paris Agreement.
Analysts also believed that the substantial investments must be made in renewable energy to make agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and transport sectors greener. It is a clear phenomenon that, in most South Asian countries, energy is the major source of carbon dioxide emission, followed by either construction or transport sector. 
The pivotal need for countries in the region deserve structural change, as their economies mostly rely on industrialisation for steady growth and development. There is no denying the fact, though the share of GHG emissions by the South Asian countries together is only 8.36 percent of the total global emissions, mitigation measures must continue in the best interest of the region.
Mentionable, the 26th annual climate summit (COP26) last year, the countries of the South Asian region made commitments towards reducing carbon emissions in the coming decades. Bangladesh, being the mostly
populated country in the region committed to reduce its GHG emissions
by 6.73 percent by 2030 in five sectors, namely power, transport industry, waste, and land use. With additional finance and technology from external sources, Bangladesh can reduce GHG emissions by 15.12 percent, as mentioned in the commitment.
Of course, the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures require significant financial resources. Here lies the most important subject, marked by greater mission and vision. The South Asian countries must consider trans-boundary action and collaboration on mitigation and adaptation by setting up a separate fund among themselves to address the impacts of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of people.
But whatever may be the amount, shall have to be spent for emission reduction, scaling up economic loss reduction, at the aftermath of climate-related disasters. The crucial question comes here standing as a vital factor; a cross-governmental approach to adaptation and mitigation planning can ensure that. That kind of a fund would definitely yield result facilitating climate-resilient development all the way. This might require an expert group of the relevant ministries, agencies, departments and different other functionaries can be brought together to create an appropriate action oriented plan to ensure proper monitoring of the entire functioning. The action group can further involve public and private stakeholders to share their respective experiences and make climate financing more useful. South Asia must also demand financial and technological support from the developed countries as part of the latter's global commitments. The ever-increasing global GHG emission is a threat to all economies in the world, including those in South Asia. Such support should be based on the scientific analysis of requirements, with funds being provided based on the scale and extent of damage due to global warming under various scenarios. South Asia must also demand financial and technological support from the developed countries as part of the latter's global commitments. The ever-increasing global GHG emission is a threat to all economies in the world, including those in South Asia. Such support should be based on the scientific analysis of requirements, with funds being provided based on the scale and extent of damage due to global warming under various scenarios.
Fourth, given the severity of climate change, countries within the region must incorporate the SDGs in their development plans to achieve climate-related objectives in a more systematic way. Some of the countries, including Bangladesh, have undertaken this useful exercise, which helps demonstrate how various SDGs are interconnected and how national goals are aligned with the SDGs. This process provides clarity on the responsibilities of various stakeholders, such as policymakers, the private sector, non-government organisations, rights-based organisations, development partners, and the media. This can also be useful to ensure better allocation of resources for specific climate-related goals and targets.
In the final analysis, we may come to a conclusion that climate change is entirely a cross-border arrangement in nature which will give a new direction cum solution to resolve the issue in question. In line with the path of combating the impact of climate change, will help the nations to achieve the SDGs. It is therefore necessary that united and totally concerted actions have to be made by the governments of the South Asian countries. Only through such collaborative and coordinated efforts   are the pivotal needs between the South Asian countries to move ahead in this direction in line with global changes to ensure socio-economic development at this crucial moment of worldwide crisis. It does imply that a comprehensive coordinated action plan is essential for countries in the South Asian region to resolve climate change leading to wide-ranging socioeconomic transformation in line with global changes. 
The writer is a Senior Journalist and Media Analyst, writes mainly on
Promoting Knowledge Based Society, Socio-Economic Transformation, Rule of Law, Human Rights & Good Governance

Share This: