B’desh needs up to $12.5 bn for climate action: World Bank

Bangladesh will need at least $12.5 billion, approximately 3 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), in the medium term for climate action, according to a World Bank report.

Financing options include budget prioritization, carbon taxation, external financing, and private investment, Xinhua news agency quoted the World Bank Group’s Country Climate and Development Report for Bangladesh, as saying.

Despite significant gains in reducing the human toll from climate disasters, it said Bangladesh continues to face severe and increasing climate risks, which, without urgent action, could put the country’s strong growth potential at risk.

Climate change will hit poor and vulnerable people the hardest, it said, adding that average tropical cyclones cost Bangladesh about $1 billion annually.

By 2050, according to the report, a third of agricultural GDP could be lost and 13 million people could become internal climate migrants.

In case of severe flooding, GDP could fall by as much as 9 per cent, it said.

“Bangladesh has led the way in adaptation and disaster risk management. Over the past 50 years, it has reduced cyclone-related deaths 100-fold. Other countries can learn from this,” said Martin Raiser, World Bank vice president for South Asia.

“But with ever-increasing climate risks, further adaptation efforts are vital, and a low-carbon development path is critical to a resilient future for Bangladesh,” he said.

The report outlined priority actions and financing needs to help Bangladesh address the climate crisis.

Actions focused on improved agriculture productivity, energy and transport efficiency can lower future emissions while improving air, soil, and water quality, it added.

20221101-135805

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