BRITAIN will give Bangladesh at least £50m to adapt to climate change in the first big attempt by a rich nation to stave off environmental catastrophe in one of the world’s poorest countries, John Vidal, environment editor of The Guardian, writes.
Other European countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands, as well as the World Bank, are expected to contribute to the new Bangladesh fund, which will be launched this week in London at a conference of the Bangladesh government and donor countries. Low-lying Bangladesh suffers from many climate-related problems, including floods, drought and river erosion, and is forecast to be devastated by climate change within 40 years. “A 30-45cm sea-level rise will dislocate about 35 million people from coastal districts by 2050,” Dr Atiq Rahman, Bangladeshi lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will tell the British government on Wednesday.
“The climate is changing far more rapidly than anticipated,” he said last week. “Bangladesh is experiencing climate-related natural disasters and extreme events like prolonged and repeated floods which have deadly consequences on agriculture and food security.” In the last three years, Bangladesh has faced several of its strongest cyclones and worst floods. More than 3 million people were made homeless following super-cyclone Sidr last November, when nearly 30% of the country’s staple rice harvest was lost. In addition, it has been plagued with droughts and the waterlogging of vast areas of farmland.