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Bangladesh should join fight against climate pollution

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Md. Sazedul Islam :
Climate change has emerged as the greatest threat for economic and social development as well as sustainable environmental protection in many parts of the world. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are one of the causes of the pollution.    
HFCs are short lived climate pollutants, which have global warming potential about 10,800 times higher than that of carbon-dioxide. HFCs, man-made greenhouse gases, are commonly used in air conditioning, refrigeration and aerosols worldwide. If left unchecked, HFCs could account for nearly 20% of climate pollution by 2050.        
Environmentalists apprehended that if left unabated, HFCs will cancel out the climate benefits, which was achieved by phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).
There is a relation between HFCs and global warming. HFC consumption is adversely affecting climate change. International community became concerned that ODS would harm the ozone layer.
In Bangladesh, over the last decade's growth the general increase in buying capacity of the people has increased use of HFC, especially in air conditioning use. A recent joint study of Environment department and UNDP in Bangladesh estimate that the increase in consumption will be around 100 MT per year. HFC consumption in Bangladesh is increasingly significantly.
According to Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), there are technologies for HFC alternatives available and various multinational companies around the world are adapting to HFC alternatives. Though some of HFC alternatives are hazardous, they have zero ozone depleting potential and very low global warming potential.     
The UN HFC Climate Conference ended in Rwandan capital Kigali on October 14, 2016 when all the developed and developing countries agreed to reduce the HFCs to save the planet.
Bangladesh is yet to ratify the Kigali Amendment Treaty reached at the conference. The Civil Society leaders called upon the government to ratify the Amendment, a multilateral agreement for preventing excessive ultraviolet radiation from the sun by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances.
The Amendment treaty is intended to create rights and obligations in international law. It is estimated that gradual phase down of HFC under the Amendment could avoid upto 0.5 degree Celsius of global warming by the end of the century.
Every sector must take an initiative to preserve our environment and reduce global warming by helping HFC phase down. We need to raise awareness about the urgent need of phasing out HFCs through endorsing the Kigali Amendment, which is known as a global commitment to stop climate change.
In a bid to raise awareness about the ratification, BCAS and Christian Aid, UK jointly organized a workshop at Spectra Convention Centre at Gulshan in the capital recently.  Dr. Atiq Rahman, Executive Director of BCAS, chaired the workshop while Quazi Sarwar Imtiaz Hasmi, Additional Director General (ADG), Department of Environment, attended as the chief guest.
The workshop was attended by high level government officials, private sectors including AC assemblers, importers and manufacturers of HFCs, NGO, INGO representatives and civil society leaders.
Addressing at the workshop, speakers stressed on the importance of ratifying the Amendment, saying that phasing down HFCs is an immediate step towards climate action, and for this we need a world agreement. It is necessary to find alternatives to HFCs.
Bangladesh has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries of climate change.
We see the impacts of climate change everywhere-we are seeing and experiencing erratic weather and flooding, and sadly vulnerable communities are impacted the most.
These communities are losing their crops, and families are displaced. Acting on HFCs now can help reduce those impacts.   
It is hoped that all concerned, including the government, would come forward to play their role for reducing climate pollution by realizing the importance of the Kigali Deal.     

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