1. The youth plays a crucial role in combating climate change
2. Education, training and awareness programmes on climate change should be introduced for the youth
3. Climate change has severely negatively affected agriculture–threatening food security
4. Bangladesh's temperature has risen by 0.0056 degrees Celsius in 54 years
5. Bangladesh could lose around $129 billion from its GDP due to climate change
The youth will face the worst impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, speakers have warned at a webinar, mentioning climate change as one of the most critical global challenges.
So, the youth must play a crucial role in combating climate change, the speakers comprising experts and economists said at the discussion titled, "Climate Change and the Role of Youth."
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), a state-run development agency, organised the event on Tuesday.
The speakers suggested that education, training and awareness programmes on climate change should be introduced for the youth.
The youth should also be engaged in climate-related work and various decision-making processes, they further said.
Dr Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, director (environment and climate change) at PKSF, presented the keynote paper at the webinar.
He said that climate change has severely negatively affected agriculture–threatening food security. It has also caused sea-levels to rise and flooding to occur earlier than previously.
Climate change has accelerated river bank erosion while increasing the intensity of natural disasters, drought and salinity intrusion.
Due to climate change, globally the temperature has risen by 0.85 degrees Celsius over a period of 32 years, from 1980-2012.
"That is why the ice in Greenland and Antarctica has been melting, extensively, causing the sea-level to rise over the last two decades," he added.
Dr Fazle Rabbi said that temperature has also risen in Bangladesh by 0.0056 degrees Celsius in 54 years, between 1961 and 2014.
Bangladesh has already started experiencing the impact of climate change, with an increase in: water-levels, the number of cyclones, storms, and rainfall, he said.
He also blamed the early flooding on climate change.
Dr Fazle Rabbi attributed the increased salinity in surface and groundwater, as well as soil, to climate change.
In the last four decades, salinity has increased by around 1.056 million hectares from 0.833 million hectares, he added.
Citing World Bank Report 2010, he said over 45 years, between 2005-2050, Bangladesh will lose around $129 billion from its total GDP due to climate change.
Finally, he suggested that climate change impacts can be mitigated by decreasing consumption of power, adopting environment-friendly lifestyle and recycling products.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of PKSF, said, "The youth should be given a chance to actively take part in the decision-making on local, national and global levels."
A vital role should be given to the youth to prevent the impact of climate change. They will conduct awareness programmes about climate change and ensure their role in combating climate change, he added.
Mashud Ahmed, managing director of the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust, said, "To combat climate degradation, the youth will have to be more sensible."
To fight climate change, the youth can adopt new habits and technologies, making a low-carbon lifestyle.
Among others, Managing Director of PKSF Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah and Deputy Managing Director Dr Md Jashim Uddin spoke at the programme.