Bangladesh advances in climate risk index

Over 815 people were killed in 242 climate change events during 1993-2012 when the country faced a loss of over $1.8bn which is equivalent to a loss of 1.16% of the GDP.

Even though Bangladesh had been ranked as the fifth risky country to adverse climate change impacts during 1993-2012, it was not on the top 10 list as of last year, a new study says.

The Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2014, released on Tuesday at the UN Climate Conference in Warsaw of Poland, identifies Honduras, Myanmar, Haiti and Nicaragua to be the most affected countries in this 20-year period. Bangladesh is followed by Vietnam and the Philippines in the index, developed by think tank Germanwatch.

It says over 815 people were killed in 242 climate change events during 1993-2012 when the country faced a loss of over $1.8bn which is equivalent to a loss of 1.16% of the GDP. In the previous year’s index for the 20-year period, Bangladesh ranked fourth.

In the index of last year, Bangladesh ranked 13. Around 200 people were killed in 14 events which resulted in the economical loss of around $2.01bn or 0.66% of the GDP.

From figures supplied by giant re-insurance company Munich Re, Germanwatch says: “The Warsaw Climate Summit is the next milestone for the international community in helping the developing countries to better adapt to the impacts of climate change. For the international community, the conference represents the midway point en route to agreeing upon a new universal climate regime [that is to be adopted in 2015 and to come into effect in 2020].

The Bangladesh government in June this year said the country had sustained loss of around $3bn due to natural disasters during 1990-2008 which was equivalent to around 1.8% of the GDP.

Besides these, a dozen of other negotiations also took place at the conference on Tuesday on a wide range of issues.

In a mass show of support in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, at least 30 members of civil society mainly young people at the UN climate talks began a voluntary fast in solidarity with Filipino negotiator Yeb Sano, who had announced that he would be fasting until “a meaningful outcome is in sight.”

Moreover, informal consultations on transfer of technology, carbon market and the Kyoto Protocol were held at the Warsaw National Stadium.

Bangladesh on Tuesday held a discussion on the economic, social and cultural rights of the people facing “forced climate displacement.”

Moderated by Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, chief of Centre for Global Change, and participated by representatives from Africa and India, speakers at the side-event emphasised that the matter of climate migration, caused due to extreme weather events including floods should be discussed separately at the UNFCCC, not as part of the loss and damage mechanism, because of its vast aspects.

They said climate displacement occurred because of the absence or lack of adaptation measures while identifying the migrants is also tough.

Soumya Dutta, convener of Climate and Energy Group, Beyond Copenhagen collective (BCPH), India, portrayed the sorry state of Himalayan basin where in the recent past the frequency of floods had increased significantly resulting from an alarming heavy rainfall. These incidents had devastated the households and livelihoods of the locals.

Meanwhile, campaigners of the Climate Action Network (CAN) International on the second day of its feat against polluters awarded host Poland the “Fossil of the Day Award” for continuously opposing the European Union from taking more ambitious climate action; co-hosting a Coal Summit coinciding with the COP19; and describing climate changes as “natural phenomena.”

Earlier on Monday, the organisation conferred the award to Australia for its stance against climate finance. It also criticises the Australian ministers for characterising climate finance as “socialism masquerading as environmentalism.”

The award was first presented at the climate conference of 1999 in Bonn.

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