Bangladesh at high risk of climate change impact: report


DHAKA, July 16, 2018 (BSS) – Bangladesh is at high risk of climate
change impact as a new report has shown that the country may face immediate
risk from lack of access to cooling.

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) today released Chilling Prospects:
Providing Sustainable Cooling for All – the first ever report to quantify the
growing risks and assess the opportunities of the global cooling challenge.

Nine countries have the biggest populations facing significant cooling
risks, the report said adding these countries across Asia, Africa and Latin
America include: India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia,
China, Mozambique and Sudan.

The report showed there are over 1.1 billion people globally who face
immediate risks from lack of access to cooling. Cooling underpins the ability
of millions to escape poverty, to keep our children healthy, vaccines stable,
food nutritious, and our economies productive. Access to cooling is now a
fundamental issue of equity, and as temperatures hit record levels, this
could also mean the difference between life or death for some.

These risks are both a development and climate change issue, as they
pose challenges for the health, safety, and productivity of populations
across the world – especially countries in Asia and Africa where access gaps
are the largest. Yet this challenge also offers business and entrepreneurs
the opportunity of major new consumer markets which want super-efficient,
affordable technologies to meet their cooling needs.

“In a world facing continuously rising temperatures, access to cooling
is not a luxury – it’s essential for everyday life. It guarantees safe cold
supply chains for fresh produce, safe storage of life-saving vaccines, and
safe work and housing conditions,” said Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special
Representative to the United Nations Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy
for All.

“This CHILLING PROSPECTS report is a wake-up call. We must meet these
needs in an energy efficient way, and without using ozone damaging
substances. If not, the risks to life, health and the planet are significant.
But there are equally important business opportunities for those that face up
to the challenge and act early.”

2.3 billion people represent a different kind of cooling risk – a growing
middle class, where limited purchasing options mean they may only be able to
afford to buy less expensive and less efficient cooling devices, which could
spike global energy demand with profound climate impacts.

It is also estimated that cooling is now responsible for about 10% of
global warming and growing rapidly. Future choices about refrigerants, the
efficiency of cooling technologies, and how cooling is powered will have a
significant impact on achieving the Paris Climate Agreement. Previous
research indicates that by 2050, work hour losses by country due to excessive
heat and lack of access to cooling are expected to be more than 2% and a high
as 12%.

With the destructive effects of climate change now being widely felt,
Chilling Prospects issues an urgent call- to-action and specific
recommendations to government policy-makers, business leaders, investors and
civil society to increase access to sustainable cooling solutions for all.

Specific report recommendations included Government policymakers should
immediately measure gaps in access to cooling in their own countries, as an
evidence base for more proactive and integratedpolicy-making.

Others recommendations are businesses, governments and finance actors
should collaborate to assess and act on the enormous commercial and economic
opportunities, including productivity, employment and growth gains from
providing sustainable cooling solutions for all

All stakeholders should accelerate their innovation efforts and embrace
a paradigm shift – thinking more holistically about the way we provide
cooling, focusing firstly on reducing heat loads and then about how deliver
cooling affordably and sustainably.

Climate experts said developing countries like Bangladesh are
bearing burden of excessive carbon emissions caused by industrialized
nations, which are mainly responsible for global warming, a great challenge
for the planet.

Despite having little contribution to global carbon emission, Bangladesh
is one of the most vulnerable countries due to adverse impact of global
climate change and responsible countries must provide financial and technical
support to climate change vulnerable countries aiming at tackling its negative
impacts, they added.

Bangladesh alone cannot face climate change issue as it is a global
phenomenon, they said adding it should move bilaterally as well as
multilaterally along with strong bargaining capacity to pile up pressure on
rich nations to extend their financial and technical supports to climate
vulnerable countries, the experts added.