Dialogue on Modern Civilization, Environmental Law & the Future of the World Organized by CLD
On April 24, 2018, Center for Legal Dialogue (CLD), a newly found student initiative consisting of students of Department of Law, University of Dhaka (DU), organized its third event titled- Modern Civilization, Environmental Law & the Future of the World at DUCSU Building, DU. The speaker of the session was Mr. Naeem Hasan, Managing Editor, Bangladesh Law Digest (BDLD) and a graduate of Department of Law, DU while Ms. Sharowat Shamin, Lecturer of Law, DU graced the event as the chief guest. The event was attended by numerous law students from different academic years.
Mr. Abdullah Al-Muti Asad, one of the founders of CLD welcomed everyone to the event and briefly introduced the speaker and the chief guest. Following the introductions, Mr. Hasan started his discussion on the designated topic. Referring to climate change as the biggest threat to human life in the current era, he said that the Paris Agreement was indeed a notable initiative by world leaders to save the planet from environmental hazards. He gradually spoke on the pre-Paris Agreement days, the evolution of environmental law as a separate mechanism in the 1960s, the Kyoto Protocol and its consequent failure as well as the rise in awareness among the nations regarding carbon emissions and its grave consequences relating to climate change.
Moreover, Mr. Hasan pointed out the dilemma and the hardships that the developing and the under-developed ones faced while striving to transform themselves from a fossil fuel to a green economy. In this regard, he mentioned that the task was easier for countries like Denmark or Germany but tougher for African countries or even Bangladesh due to resource constraints by referring to various facts and figures. As the discussion shifted towards tacking the problem, he commented that enacting new legislation and regulations were not sufficient to tackle climate change. Rather, he believed that an ideological shift in our mentality is crucial to saving the earth from the grave consequences of global warming.
Citing Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, he noted that the human nature of instant gratification and not being wary of distant threats was a significant barrier to tackling global warming. Mr. Hasan also referred to Canadian social activist Naomi Klein and asserted that nations and individuals need to re-assess their goals and aspirations to create a balance between materialistic/capitalistic gains and spiritualism, which would lead to sustainable development in its truest sense. Finally, he cited radical measures like the Chipko movement in India to save trees from being cut and stated that these drastic steps would indeed make a difference in the long run.
Afterwards, Ms. Sharowat Samin addressed the audience and discussed the harmfulness of the earth’s temperature increasing up to 6 degree Celsius on average as well as its implications on human civilization. She observed that in today’s unipolar world, global leaders blatantly denying the existence of climate change would have severe ill effects in the long run. She also wished CLD all the best for its future endeavours. Mr. Asad then talked about the future plans of CLD and delivered the vote of thanks to bring the proceedings of the day to an end.