Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD), Dhaka and the Environmental Awareness and Research Network (EARN), University of Chittagong, organized a Human Chain on June 24, 2021, at 11 a.m. on the premises of the Chittagong Press Club to protest the increase in global carbon emissions and seeking assurance to reduce carbon emissions.

Professor Dr. Khaled Misbahuzzaman, Institute of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Chittagong spoke as the chief guest, and Professor Dr. Alak Pal, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Chittagong delivered his valuable speech as special guest.

Prothom Alo senior journalist Pranab Bal also spoke and the program was moderated by Prarthi Ghosh, a member of EARN and student of the University of Chittagong. Besides, Rafiq Ahmed Sobhani, Navnita Sarkar, and Shahedul Alam, students of Chittagong University also gave speeches among the participants.

Chief Guest Dr. Khaled Misbahuzzaman said, “We have become familiar with terms like global warming, carbon emissions, climate change, etc. over the past few decades, but there are still many limitations in these areas. Already we have been affected by climate change. As a consequence, human life has been suffering in many contexts. We failed to know people about these issues broadly. We have to move towards Zero Carbon Economy. Whoever in front of me like journalist and police and also who works in outside of the home are somehow suffering from the effects of climate change”. He added that the current level of carbon emissions has increased exponentially and that we and our educated society must work together to move towards a carbon-neutral economy. At the same time, the government and the industrialists, businessmen, and the mass people need to come forward to tackle climate change and carbon emissions.

The special guest Dr. Alak Pal said, ‘Carbon emission has a great impact on air pollution which is caused by the rising of transport. Before hundreds of years ago, the Chittagong city was full of forest, trees, and hills, but now everything is faded. And, we see that ETP is missing in the industries which are emitting carbon.  The amount of carbon emissions in Chittagong city is increasing day by day. Besides, the number of trees and hills is also declining at a higher rate. As a result, public health is under threat. Recently, we found in a study that hundreds of tons of carbon are constantly being emitted from the brickfields in and around Chittagong city. He further said that more intervention of Chittagong City Corporation, BRTA, and Forest Department is needed to reduce this carbon emission. Because if Chittagong is safe, Bangladesh and the People will be safe.

Pranab Baul, a senior journalist at Prothom Alo, said, “The development projects are not planting trees at the rate at which they are being cut down.”

Among the students, Rafiq Ahmed Sobhani said, “To reduce carbon emissions, we need to innovate more methods besides planting trees.” For example, industrial carbon needs to be stored underground without being emitted directly into the atmosphere.” Shahedul Alam said, “Renewable energy must be used to reduce carbon emissions.” Prarthi Ghosh said, “We want a clear and firm political commitment to stop the production, investment, and use of coal and other fossil fuels in real context to face the impact of climate change.” “In this age of industrial development, we should reduce the use of renewable energy and focus on the use of renewable energy,” said Nobonita Sarkar.

Convener Zakaria Hassan said, “There is no alternative to preventing carbon emissions to keep the earth habitable.”

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