By The Daily Star
Asia New Network
More than three-quarters of Bangladesh's population is at risk of declining living standards due to rising temperature and erratic rainfall from climate change, the World Bank says.
The statement was made in a report titled 'South Asia's Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards' unveiled today.
It says in the report, in the last 60 years the region's average temperatures have increased and will continue rising, which is affecting agriculture, health and productivity.
"This could cost Bangladesh 6.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product and depress the living standards of more than three-quarters of the country's population by 2050," it said.
Bangladesh's average annual temperatures are expected to rise by 1.0°C to 1.5°C by 2050 even if preventive measures are taken. If no, the predicted increase is upto 2.5°C.
Understanding Historic and Projected Temperatures for Bangladesh Sources: Harris and others 2014 (Climate Research Unit TS 2.24); 11 climate models cited in box 2.1. Note: The black line line indicates yearly annual temperature, the gray line indicates average annual temperature from 1981 through 2010, the dashed purple line indicates multimodel mean under the carbon-intensive scenario, the dashed green line represents multimodel mean under the climate-sensitive scenario, and the shaded areas indicate 100 percent confidence interval based on 11 climate models for each scenario.
By 2050, Chittagong Division will be most vulnerable to changing climate. Cox's Bazar, Bandarban, Chittagong, Rangamati, and Noakhali will be among the most affected where living standard will decline more than 18 per cent.
"Around the world, and especially for Bangladesh, climate change is an acute threat to development and efforts to end poverty," said Hartwig Schafer, Vice President for South Asia Region.
"These weather changes will result in lower per capita consumption levels that could further increase poverty and inequality in one of the poorest regions of the world, South Asia," says Muthukumara Mani, Report author and World Bank Lead Economist in the South Asia Region.
Temperature and Consumption Have an Inverted U–Shaped Relationship for Countries in South Asia Source: World Bank calculations. Note: Blue-shaded region indicates 90 percent confidence interval.