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Climate Change Impacts on Poor Countries

Climate change is real and it’s a more daily reality in a poor-country like Bangladesh. Bangladesh is already facing the impact of climate change when wealthier countries are just talking about how they will face it or is it real or not. Bangladesh is one of the most highly populated countries in the world and most of the people rely solely on farming.  According to the article “Climate Displacement in Bangladesh” from the Environmental Justice Foundation website up to 18 million people may have to move and by 2050 one in seven people will be displaced because of climate change and sea-level rise. So, they have to find a new place to live and it will be really hard for them to manage that because most of the people earn less than $1 a day. This will change the country’s geographical map as well. Climate change will permanently affect their economy, health, education and lifestyle. The government won’t be able to recover from climage change caused disasters unless wealthier countries come up with some strategy or help them directly.

One of the reasons for climate change and global warming is the production of greenhouse gas. Bangladesh emits 0.1% of global greenhouse gases where, on the other hand, United States’ emission rate is 24%. But Bangladeshi’s economy and people are directly affected by climate change because 28% of Bangladeshi people live in coastal areas that  will be affected by sea-level rise directly. The region will lose a big portion of its land to the sea because of sea level rise and people will suffer from it. It means lots of people have to find a new place to live and new land to farm. With a population density of 1,115.62 people per square kilometer there is not enough land to live and farm, so it may create food shortages. It will affect the health system. Food shortage can lead to undernutrition, risk of mortality from diarrheal illness. Also, mosquito-borne diseases are affecting a large number of people in Bangladesh after the drought. So, they won’t have a healthy life like rich countries people have, although rich countries are the ones creating this problem mostly. Adding to this grim prospective view of the future, besides sea-level rise, Bangladesh also has droughts, floods, and cyclones and climate change makes it worse.

What should we do now? Since it’s a global problem we have to solve it globally. Wealthy countries have to take responsibility and work closely with poor countries. They have to make sure that poor countries can get proper technology and money to face this problem properly. Private organizations can also help create new technology to face this problem. The most important player in this crisis is the United Nations. According to the Los Angeles Times article “Wealthy countries are responsible for climate change, but it’s the poor who will suffer most” the wealthier nations promised to raise the Green Climate Fund up to $100 billion by 2020, but they have donated around $10 billion only. In February, 2020, a total of $10.3 billion has been pledged and $8.24 billion confirmed.

Wealthier nations aren’t keeping promises and working the way they should. Solving this problem is a costly and long-term process but if we don’t start now then it will be harder to do it in the future. Maybe it’s the poor countries who are suffering now, but very soon wealthier countries will face the same types of consequences too. We still have time to work together to save our world and for that, we have to work as a family.

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One Response

  1. You are totally right. It is very “real and more realistic in a poor-country”. I came to Freetown, Sierra Leone recently and the first thing that hit me is the smell of car engine. The smoke, pollution that comes from the secondhand vehicles imported from countries like China, Japan, United States, France, Britain, is overwhelming. According to Philip Jakpor a Nigerian activist “Africa has become the burial ground of vehicles that run on fossil fuel as the west turns to electric and newer cleaner technologies”. Everyone else here is already used to it to the point its breathable oxygen to them. They don’t realize that air pollution is a “silent killer in Africa responsible for about 7 million deaths each year” and that “the vehicle emission is a major source of deteriorating air quality in booming cities.” This is how realistic it is in third world countries especially since they “contribute far less than other countries to the emission that cause global warming.” In 2018 Sierra Leone produced .19 metric tons of CO2/cap compared to United States’ 16.14 metric ton CO2/cap.
    Even though in Sierra Leone the C02 contribution is lower than the U.S., the air quality in Sierra Leone is terrible. So, what should we do? The United States has better equipment to deal with the air pollution than Sierra Leone. They need to share their resources or at least lower the emission of CO2, or just not export bad cars to Africa. It is frustrating that some people like Donald Trump still believes climate change is not real and took us out of the Paris Agreement. The United Nations is not doing enough to put pressure on wealthy countries. A carbon tax has been implemented long ago but there are political issues that get in the way of fairly implementing the carbon tax. United Nations Climate Chief Christiana Figueres said that “countries are not looking to save the planet for altruistic reasons…. They’re doing it for the benefit of their own economy.” If people continue to be greedy and corrupt, how can we come together as a family?
    Climate change is a global problem but people in poor countries are suffering the most. Climate change has had a huge domino effect as you explained in your article. Without farming land, there is no food to eat or sell, which leads to health issues and no money. This all hinders a country in the developmental stage from progressing forward. Wealthy countries need to stop selling run down electronics and vehicles to third world countries. Africa is not the dumping ground for the rest of the world. I think it is time the third world countries look out for themselves and be the example to the world. However, if people continue to be guided by greed, and corruption we cannot come together as a family to save the planet.

    1. chow, claudia. “Carbon Tax: A Shared Global Responsibility For Carbon Emissions: Earth.Org – Past: Present: Future.” Earth.Org – Past | Present | Future, 8 Sept. 2020, earth.org/carbon-tax-a-shared-global-responsibility-for-carbon-emissions/.
    2. knoema, knoema. “Sierra Leone CO2 Emissions per Capita, 1970-2019.” Knoema, 2018, knoema.com/atlas/Sierra-Leone/CO2-emissions-per-capita?compareTo=US.
    3. Muhumuza, Rodney. “Used Cars Keep Africans Moving, but Dumping Concerns Remain.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 1 Mar. 2020, apnews.com/article/891ec9b31a398e90ff5fbd488300dbe2.

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