Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) - International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Bangladesh is considered especially vulnerable to climate change with one-third of its population at risk of displacement because of rising sea levels.
According to some indicators, the country ranked among the top ten countries in the world most affected by extreme weather events during 1998–2017 (Global Climate Risk Index).
Losses linked to such events were estimated annually to average 1.8 percent of GDP between 1990 and 2008.
Rising sea levels and coastal erosion could lead to a loss of 17 percent of land surface and 30 percent of food production by 2050, according to experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of the United Nations.
Recognizing the urgency of the issue, Bangladesh became one of the most active countries in terms of planning and action on climate change, according to IMF.
While Bangladesh accounts for less than 0.35 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the country took several measures in recent years to promote climate change investments, it said.
Chief among these is adopting a fiscal framework designed to channel more resources towards adaptation investments, according to the latest IMF assessment shared on Thursday.
At the same time new environmental guidelines promote green financing, foster green banking, and establish dedicated funds.
Bangladesh is also active in seeking grant financing from the international community, notably through the Green Climate Fund, it said.
It said Bangladesh continues to make progress in reducing poverty, improving education opportunities, particularly for girls, and reaching other development-related goals.
With a relatively young population, the country is well positioned for the next few decades to build on its recent success, IMF said.
However, in aspiring to reach upper middle-income status, Bangladesh faces several challenges, as discussed in the IMF’s latest economic assessment.
Near the top of the list is coping with the risks associated with climate change.
Looking forward, IMF said, there is room to improve capacity to address climate change, particularly compared with emerging countries in Asia.
A priority for the government will be to gradually reform energy subsidies and free up fiscal and other resources to address climate change, including through revenue mobilization—a significant challenge given the country’s low tax revenue-to-GDP ratio, which stands at less than 10 percent.
More can also be done to promote climate-friendly investments, IMF said.
Several options are feasible:
Reduce and gradually eliminate costly energy subsidies, while mitigating the impact on the poorest through targeted transfers.
Consider phased introduction of a carbon tax on selected fuel products, notably those consumed by more affluent households, such as petrol and diesel at the pump, which could help raise revenue, reduce pollution, and encourage the use of cleaner, emissions-saving technologies.
Prepare financially against the impact of natural disasters through a dedicated contingency line in the budget and the use of insurance mechanisms such as catastrophe bonds that provide more extensive coverage.
Foster climate-friendly investments, including by taxing pollution, incentivizing green products, and enhancing the business environment to attract foreign investors who promote the use of clean technologies.
Pabna, Sept 20 (UNB) – A man allegedly committed suicide by jumping under a train at Tebunia Rail Station in Ishwardi upazila on Friday.
The deceased was identified as Fazlur Rahman, 47, son of Abdul Hamid of Jotadam village in sadar upazila.
Quoting local people, Subir Datta, officer-in-charge of Ishwardi Government Railway Police Station, said when the Pabna-bound ‘Pabna Express’ train from Ishwardi was moving forward Fazlur jumped in front of it around 6:30 am.
Police recovered the body and sent it to local hospital morgue for autopsy.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB)- Dhaka University (DU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman on Friday said the committee concerned of the university will investigate the alleged illegal enrolment of 34 Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders into the evening programme ahead of the Ducsu polls.
"The university has a committee that investigate issues like this. As per as university rules, the committee will also look into the matter to know actually what had happened," the vice chancellor came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after visiting a center of ‘Ka’ unit admission test under the Science Faculty.
The students have been staging demonstrations on the campus over the last few days against the ‘illegal enrolment’ of 34 BCL activists into the evening programme of a department ahead of the Ducsu polls.
Thakurgaon, Sept 20 (UNB) – A Bangladeshi youth was beaten to death allegedly by members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) along Khathaldangi border in Haripur upazila of the district early Friday.
The deceased were identified as Kamal Hossain, 32, son of Hakim Uddin of Geruadangi village in the upazila.
Abdul Hamid, Chairman of Gedura Union Parishad, said local people spotted the body of Kamal along the barbed fence and informed the matter to his family members.
Later, they took the body to their home.
The body bore several injury marks while the right hand of the victim was found broken, he said.
Family members of the victim claimed that Kamal was tortured to death by the BSF members.
Lieutenant Colonel SM Samiunnabi Chowdhury, commanding officer of Thakurgaon-50 BGB, said, “We have heard the news but it is not clear yet whether he was beaten to death by the BSF members.”
The BGB authorities will hold a flag meeting with BSF men, he said.
Rajshahi, Sept 20 (UNB) –Four bodies were found floating in the Baral River in Sluice Gate area under Charghat upazila on Friday.
Samit Kumar Kundu, officer-in-charge of Charghat Police Station, said local people spotted the bodies in the morning and informed police.
It is not clear yet whether the bodies came from the upstream of the river or those were dumped in the area after killing, the OC said.
Police are working to recover the bodies.