Essay on climate change in bangladesh - essays on citizenship









essay on climate change in bangladesh

essay on climate change in bangladeshEssay on climate change in bangladesh -“Can you blame them for trying to protect that resource and that income for as long as they can? Then she spent a year working with the Bribri, an indigenous people who live in Costa Rica’s Talamanca Mountains.(In an unfortunate irony, hydrofluorocarbons, which, molecule for molecule, trap far more heat than CO, were specifically engineered to replace ozone-depleting CFCs.)“Well, frankly, I sometimes do talk about ‘decarbonization,’ ” Figueres went on. The best thing that could happen to me would be that Saudi Arabia says, ‘You know what? People who attended that still remember it as a kind of endurance test for the soul.Known as the Copenhagen Accord, the document—a sort of climate wish list—identified a temperature rise of two degrees Celsius as the danger point for the planet.Figueres spends much of her time travelling around the globe, meeting with anyone she thinks might advance the cause.Over drinks on her balcony, she described what it had been like working with the Saudis at climate negotiations when she herself was a delegate, representing Costa Rica. I come from a country that has only hydro and wind as power resources. ”Growing up in Costa Rica, Figueres was sent to the Humboldt School, in San José, where she learned to speak fluent German.Also left unresolved was how those decisions were to be reached: the convention provided no rules for voting, though it noted that such rules ought to be adopted.United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or U. The danger of high expectations, of course, is that they can be all the more devastatingly dashed. When Figueres took over the Secretariat, in 2010, there were lots of people who thought the job so thankless that it ought to be abolished.It also promised funding to help poor countries affected by warming.“Not a single human being.”To understand how the fate of the planet came to be entrusted to a corps of mostly anonymous, mid-level diplomats, you have to go back to the nineteen-eighties, when the world confronted its first atmospheric crisis.This constitutive vagueness has troubled climate negotiations ever since.The same high-low distinction held for climate change; some countries had contributed a great deal to the problem, others very little.Last year, perhaps for the first time since the invention of the steam engine, global emissions remained flat even as the global economy grew, by about three per cent. ”The day Figueres met with investors at Citigroup, China submitted its emissions plan, or I. S.’s entire electrical grid.)Iceland, Serbia, and South Korea also submitted their plans that day. He served as President of the country three times, pushed through sweeping political and social reforms, and abolished Costa Rica’s army as a stay against dictatorship.From London, she flew to New York for three more days of back-to-back meetings.“I also have no problem sitting next to Prince Charles.” Figueres had brought along a camera to document the Bribris’ lives. The only light they had seen at night was the stars. Figueres is five feet tall, with short brown hair and strikingly different-colored eyes—one blue and one hazel.She owns a Prius but usually takes the tram to work.Oil-producing states, like Saudi Arabia, split with low-lying, easily inundated nations, like Maldives. Figueres, who is fifty-nine, is an avid runner—the first time I met her, she was hobbling around with blisters acquired from a half marathon—and an uninhibited dancer.essay on climate change in bangladeshRapidly industrializing countries, like India, saw their interests as very different from those of what are officially known as Least Developed Countries, like Ethiopia.The final version of the treaty, presented in Rio in 1992, called for the “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” But it left virtually all decisions about how this was to be accomplished to future negotiations.Seated around the table were the New York State comptroller, the chief investment officer of Connecticut’s pension funds, and representatives of several major investment firms.“I know that in Riyadh I need to wear a burka,” she told me.By the mid-aughts, its output was twice that amount. still holds first place in terms of cumulative emissions.) Nowadays, China’s per-capita emissions are as high as Western Europe’s (though not nearly as high as those in the U. The more than a thousand new coal-fired power plants that went up from Guangdong to Xinjiang made Dutch wind turbines and German solar farms seem increasingly irrelevant; all of Europe’s cuts were effectively cancelled out by a few months’ worth of emissions growth in China. Last fall, when her office was preparing for the twentieth , which was held in Lima, she and some of her assistants secretly practiced a routine set to Beyoncé’s “Move Your Body.” At a meeting of the Secretariat staff, which numbers more than five hundred, they ripped off their jackets and started to jump, jump, jump.“They don’t like the term ‘decarbonization,’ because for them that points the finger directly at them.But the other sine-qua-non condition is that you can’t continue to grow greenhouse gases, because that kills the possibility of growth. Analysts criticized the South Korean plan as essentially meaningless. When climate scientists talk about carbon, they usually do so in terms of parts per million.The parties to the convention have never managed to agree on rules for voting, meaning that every decision must—in theory, at least—be arrived at by consensus.Instead, what emerged from the session was yet another prolegomenon to future negotiations, brokered at the very last minute—and over the objections of many other world leaders—by President Barack Obama.And while a few countries have cut their COFigueres lives about five miles from downtown Bonn, on the opposite side of the Rhine, in the town of Königswinter.She discovered that they loved to see photographs of themselves, and so every few months she would trek out of the village, by foot and by donkey, to get the pictures developed. And then, all of a sudden, all these little stars were in rows!A few weeks after she visited Saudi Arabia, she went to London, where she spoke to, among others, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Al Gore.Sweden, one of the few countries that tax carbon, has reduced its emissions by about twenty-three per cent in the past twenty-five years. The plan elaborated on the country’s pledge to “peak” its emissions by 2030. It also pledged to increase its share of energy produced from “non-fossil fuels” to twenty per cent. Figueres grew up partly in the President’s House and partly on her father’s farm, which he called La Lucha sin Fin—“the struggle without end.”“I’m very comfortable with the word ‘revolution,’ ” Figueres told me.The United States—at that point the world’s largest emitter—refused even to consider such targets.One evening this spring, I rode the tram home with her. C., has by now been ratified by a hundred and ninety-five countries, which, depending on how you count, represents either all the countries in the world or all the countries and then some. How well they have done so will become apparent three months from now, when world leaders meet for this year’s —the twenty-first—in Paris.On the eve of what was supposed to be the final negotiating session on the Framework Convention, the working draft of the document, according to one participant, resembled a “compilation of contradictory positions more than a recognizable legal instrument.”The convention was rescued, at a price. and of the many negotiating sessions and working groups and protocols it has spun off over the years is to prevent “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” In climate circles, this is usually shortened to D. In contrast to most diplomats, who cultivate an air of professional reserve, Figueres is emotive to the point of disarming—“a mini-volcano” is how one of her aides described her to me. essay on climate change in bangladesh “But certainly I won’t talk about ‘decarbonization’ when I’m in Saudi Arabia, because I understand that is very threatening to them. With all the money that we have, we’re going to invest in the best technology in concentrated solar power.’ ”In the lead-up to Paris, each country has been asked to submit a plan outlining how and by how much it will reduce its carbon output—or, to use the Saudis’ preferred term, its emissions. Figueres, who was there with the Costa Rican delegation, described it as “an absolutely harrowing experience.”Kyoto imposed specific targets on roughly forty countries of the global North (not all of which, of course, are actually in the North). Figueres and her team have spent the years since Copenhagen trying to learn from its mistakes.The Montreal Protocol, which has been revised a half-dozen times, mainly in response to new scientific data, averted a dystopian future filled with skin cancer and cataracts.She cited her invitation from the country as a sign of its new, more “constructive” approach.Figueres began by assuring the group that the negotiations leading to Paris were “still on track.” Then she turned her attention to money.“Where capital goes over the next fifteen years is going to decide whether we’re actually able to address climate change and what kind of a century we are going to have,” she said.Figueres maintains that global uncoupling is not only possible but obligatory. “Because there are two things that are absolutely key to being able to feed, house, and educate the two billion more family members who will be joining us. And, particularly, developing countries need to continue to grow. In its submission, South Korea, the world’s eleventh-largest emitter, committed to only trivial reductions, saying it could not go further because its economy is so heavily based on manufacturing.“Elsewhere, if they want me to wear an abaya I’ll wear an abaya.”She also wanted to be mindful of the Saudis’ linguistic requirements.Lots of additional uses were found for CFCs before it was discovered that the chemicals had the nasty effect of breaking down stratospheric ozone, which protects the earth from ultraviolet radiation. Sherwood Rowland, a chemist who shared a Nobel Prize for this discovery, once reportedly came home from his lab and told his wife, “The work is going well, but it looks like it might be the end of the world.”) A global treaty—the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer—was signed in 1985 and sent to the U. Senate by President Ronald Reagan, who called for its “expeditious ratification.” This broadly worded “framework” was soon followed by the Montreal Protocol, which called for drastic cuts in CFC usage.Hence the reluctance of most nations to commit to cutting carbon.“They would throw a wrench in here and get out of that room in which the issue was A, then appear over in this other room, in which it was a completely unrelated issue, throw a wrench in there, and disappear,” she recalled. I would go, These guys are brilliant.“The Saudis are sitting on a vast reserve of very cheap oil,” she continued. If I had been born in a country with fossil-fuel reserves, would I have a different opinion about what’s good for the world? Very likely, in fact.“I don’t want to put people into a black box and say, ‘You’re the culprits,’ and point a blaming finger. For college, she came to the United States—to Swarthmore—where she studied anthropology.Since the start of the industrial revolution, growth has been accompanied—indeed, made possible—by rising emissions.The plans are known as “intended nationally determined contributions”—in U. The targets varied from country to country; the nations of the European Union, for instance, were, collectively, supposed to cut their emissions by eight per cent, while the United States was supposed to cut them by seven per cent.Figueres, who is well aware of this, is doing her best to raise them further, on the theory that the best way to make something happen is to convince people that it is going to happen. “We are duty-bound to succeed,” France’s President, François Hollande, has declared.In the mid-nineties, China was emitting nearly a billion metric tons of carbon a year.(If you’re sitting in the sun right now, in a roundabout way you can thank the Montreal Protocol.) Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the U. General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring climate change to be a “common concern of mankind.” The following year, talks began on what was to become the Framework Convention.The village had no electricity or running water.“I have no problem sitting on the floor, sipping hot water from a dirty cup,” she told me.N., has labelled it “perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date.”When scientists first sounded the alarm about carbon emissions, it seemed logical to try to follow the Montreal template. The ozone treaty had divided the world into two blocs: high CFC users, like the United States, and low users, like Bangladesh.In 2005, China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest emitter on an annual basis. Scientists warned that the world was on track for an average global-temperature rise of four degrees Celsius (more than seven degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century.One morning began with a breakfast at Citigroup’s headquarters, on Park Avenue. essay on climate change in bangladesh “I walk around with Kleenex,” another aide told me.Her apartment is decorated with vividly colored paintings by Central American artists, and it looks directly onto the Rhine, which, on this particular evening, was untrafficked except for an occasional coal barge.The new plan was supposed to establish stricter targets and extend them to more countries, including China.As a report from the World Bank noted, it’s not clear “that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible.”It was to get off this path that negotiators met in Copenhagen in 2009.(Saudi Arabia, part of this second group, tried to scuttle the agreement in advance, by demanding that the text be circulated six months before the final negotiating session.) It was the United States that helped rescue the protocol—Vice-President Al Gore flew to Kyoto when the talks appeared to be foundering—and it was also the U. Bush entered the White House, in 2001, he announced that his Administration would not abide by its terms.“Kyoto is dead” is how Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s national-security adviser, put it. Only the Europeans really took their goal seriously, not only meeting it but exceeding it.But what if growth and emissions could be uncoupled?In some parts of Europe, what has been called “conscious uncoupling” is already well along. C., China said that it would make its “best efforts” to cap its emissions earlier than 2030. The Framework Convention on Climate Change is overseen by an organization known as the Secretariat, which is led by a Costa Rican named Christiana Figueres.So I just showed them the photograph, and I said, ‘What is this? Because my feeling is that all the little stars are aligning themselves in a different sense.”It is Figueres’s contention that all the nations of the world are now working in good faith to try to reach a climate agreement, and that includes Saudi Arabia.She urged all those present to take this into account when making their own investment decisions, and to do so publicly: “What we truly need is to create a ‘surround sound’ where, no matter what sector you turn to, there is a signal saying, ‘Folks, we are moving toward a low-carbon economy. So get on the bandwagon.’ ”The debate over what to do—or not to do—about global warming has always been, at its core, an economic one.During that same period, its economy has grown by more than fifty-five per cent. That pledge, first made public in November, was part of a deal announced jointly with the called it “historic.”It was “huge, absolutely huge,” Figueres told me. (As one commentator pointed out, to fulfill the latter promise China will have to add enough solar, wind, or nuclear generating capacity to power the U.She had no shopping bag, so she decided to carry the groceries home in her suitcase.“I’m not Alice in Wonderland,” she told me, once we got upstairs.“You and I are sitting here, in this gorgeous apartment, enjoying this fantastic privilege, because of fossil fuels.” Figueres, who is separated from her husband, has two grown daughters, one of whom works in New York, the other in Panama. This was in the aftermath of the fifteenth , held in Copenhagen, which had been expected to yield a historic agreement but ended in anger and recrimination.That crisis, the so-called ozone hole, was the product of chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.In fact, the treaty survived, but in a zombielike state. Meanwhile, as Kyoto shambled on, the horizon receded.At the time of my visit, Figueres was preparing for a trip to Saudi Arabia. But I always want to understand: what is behind all of this? Figueres works out of a spacious office in Bonn, in a building that used to belong to the German parliament.High users, who were largely responsible for the problem, were expected to act first, low users later.(This was against a baseline of 1990.) Canada was expected to reduce its emissions by six per cent. essay on climate change in bangladesh Known as the Copenhagen Accord, the document—a sort of climate wish list—identified a temperature rise of two degrees Celsius as the danger point for the planet. essay on climate change in bangladesh

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