With a looming environmental hazard, Thailand's Bangkok is all set to host next UN climate conference on Tuesday.
With a looming environmental hazard, Thailand’s Bangkok is all set to host next UN climate conference on Tuesday. The city will host a preparatory meeting which will be followed by a crunch summit in Poland at the end of 2018 to set rules on reducing greenhouse emissions and providing aid to vulnerable countries.
However, the 10 million residents of the city are already under siege from the environment. As per reports, a rise in sea temperatures has caused powerful cyclones, erratic rainfall, and intense droughts and floods. These too are predicted to worsen over time, adding pressure on governments tasked with bringing the 2015 Paris climate treaty to life.
Built on once-marshy land about 1.5 metres (five feet) above sea level, Bangkok is projected to be one of the world’s hardest hit urban areas, alongside fellow Southeast Asian behemoths Jakarta and Manila.
As per a World Bank report, nearly 40 per cent of Bangkok will be inundated by as early as 2030. As per an AFP report, a fifth of the city was under water when the monsoon season brought the worst floods in decades in the year 2011. In the rest of Thailand, the death toll passed 500 by the end of the season.
The government, on the other hand, is scrambling to mitigate the effects of climate change. It has recently constructed a municipal canal network of up to 2,600 kilometres with pumping stations and eight underground tunnels to evacuate water if disaster strikes.
In 2017, city’s Chulalongkorn University, an 11-acre park was specially designed to drain several million litres of rain. However, the experts predict that these ad-hoc fixes may not be enough. Greenpeace’s Buakamsri told AFP a clear policy of land management is needed to counter the menace.