Allocate funds to improve living standards and support adaptation and mitigation projects

Satellite observations indicate that the rate of loss of the planet’s two largest ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland has more than doubled since 2009.

With evidence growing of the speed of climate change, it is more important than ever for Bangladesh as a nation on the frontline, to integrate addressing climate change into all aspects of policy.

The government should move to taxing carbon emissions through levies on the production, distribution, and import of fossil fuels. The main aim will be to reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions and bring related benefits by stimulating investment in efficiency and renewable energy.

Income-generated or, just as importantly, taxpayer funds saved from reducing or even eliminating subsidies on fossil fuels could be allocated to improving living standards and supporting adaptation and mitigation projects.

Many existing carbon offset and trading schemes in the leading industrialised nations, which are historically responsible for man-made climate change, are currently being used to subsidise forests within those nations, rather than generating funds to help poorer people in more vulnerable countries. We need to be more pro-active ourselves in addressing the challenges ourselves, rather than waiting for more international support.

Care needs to be taken not to jeopardise living standards for people in rural areas who rely more directly on diesel fuel for their livelihoods.

One way to do this would be to divert subsidies to people affected. Alternatively the tax could be phased in a revenue neutral manner by simultaneously reducing other import duties or levies so that total taxation on consumption does not increase.

Source: Dhakatribune Editorial