Ninety-seven percent climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the century are very likely due to human activities. This endorsement established the fact that climate change is the result of human actions and choices. Despite the very strong consensus among the scientific community on the anthropogenic climate change, substantial ideological divergence prevails among the mass people around the climate change issue. Developed nations “should take the lead in climate change mitigation and assist poor & vulnerable countries in meeting necessary GHG reductions at a rate that permits sustainable development in poor countries. The lack of proactive leadership from the developed nations for mitigating climate change will increase sea level rise, desertification, super storms, and loss of biodiversity resources & ecosystem services.
The lack of climate mitigation measures in the developed countries will severely reduce the adaptation capacity of the poor countries who are already struggling to adapt with the changing climate. A baseline survey from 4800 poor households in Bangladesh has revealed that the ongoing negative impact of climate change on poor households’ income, livelihood, health, and food security are continuously reducing climate resilience of the poor households. Rural People have been experiencing adverse symptoms of climate change for the last 10 years. Untimely excessive rainfall, frequent flood, cyclone, tornado & drought are continuously damaging their agriculture produce. Food insecurity due to crop loss or failure is a common incident for the villagers. Child labor migration and school dropout are the most popular adaptation strategies among the poor households. Such practice is making future generations more vulnerable to climate change. Natural disasters are becoming increasingly frequent due to climate change and this is spurring increased migration of affected populations away from vulnerable areas, notably the coastal regions of Bangladesh. Salinity has already contaminated around 21% of the cultivated land and 56% of the rivers in the coastal area of Bangladesh. Shortage of safe drinking water, especially in the coastal belt and in drought-prone has already imposed hardship on women and children, who are responsible for collecting drinking water for their families. In addition, due to lack of water storage capacity in the households, women have to collect water for two times in a day. Fuel wood shortages forces women to shift for less nutritious foods that can be eaten raw or partially cooked to economize fuel use.
The ability of human systems to adapt to and cope with climate change depends on factors such as wealth, technology, education, information, skills, infrastructure, access to resources and management capabilities. The socio-economic and political inequalities increases climate change vulnerabilities and demands development policy actions to gradually eliminate historical socio-economic and political inequalities. The Climate Justice centered global development approach should integrate Principles of Responsibility (those who are responsible for carbon emissions should take lead for reducing emissions); Principles of Polluter Pay (those who have created the pollution should pay) and Principle of capability/ability to pay (those who are more able to bear the cost should pay). Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities should guide the climate resilient development process from local to international level.