CPD: Bangladesh needs $1.71bn annual investment to meet renewable energy target

    Originally posted in Dhaka Tribune on 10 May 2023

    G7 countries can help Bangladesh in meeting its objective of 40% renewable energy by 2041 by giving financial assistance to enable a seamless energy transition, as Bangladesh requires $1.53 billion to $1.71 billion in annual investment from 2024 to 2041.

    According to the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), what Bangladesh received from national and foreign sources in the renewable energy sector from 2016 to 2023 ($6.71 billion) was insufficient.

    CPD discussed their findings and recommendations ahead of the 49th G7 Summit, which will be held in Japan from May 19-21, at a dialogue titled “G7 Summit in 2023: Call for Global Initiatives for Ending Support for Fossil Fuels and Accelerating the Transition to Renewable Energy” on Wednesday.

    The Keynote Presentation was delivered by Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director at CPD.

    A major demand raised by international civil societies is to develop a roadmap to operationalise the G7 leaders’ commitment to end government support for all fossil fuels, he stated in his presentation.

    He added saying: “few of the G7 goals and commitments for 2023 are genuine concrete measures; instead, the majority are still highly broad-based, generalized, and vague goals, objectives, and future promises, but G7s can help Bangladesh achieve the goal of 40% renewable by 2041 through providing financial assistance to ensure a smooth energy transition.”

    He also mentioned that the transition should not jeopardize energy security by relying on bilateral and international support.

    Bangladesh has already received $6.71 billion from national and international sources in the renewable energy sector from 2016 to 2022 (Change Initiative, 2023), which is insufficient. A yearly investment of $1.53 billion to $1.71 billion is necessary to attain the 40% renewable energy target in total generation capacity (IEEFA, 2023).

    Nonclean policy initiatives are highly discouraged as they are deviating from the renewable energy goal of Bangladesh and other developing nations and creating confusion. G7 countries should not advocate these expensive nonclean technologies and should be phased out deploying them in the LDCs, developing countries and V20s, especially in Bangladesh.

    In concluding remarks, the CPD presentation recommends that G7 should end coal investment in developing countries immediately. USA and Japan should prioritize the complete phase-out of coal by ending international coal finances, especially in developing countries.

    The unfulfilled commitment from 2022 is projected to be met by the end of 2023.

    An ambitious renewable energy financing target should be established, and promoting and supporting developing countries’ renewable energy sectors should be a focus of this year’s summit.

    The global commitment to climate financing should be expanded to $100 billion each year, most importantly. As part of climate mitigation, at least half of it should be committed to renewable energy funding.

    In developing countries, advanced renewable technology should be fostered. Transferring low-cost renewable technologies should be appropriate for both energy sustainability and carbon reduction in the south. A meaningful transition to a net-zero future must be both just and inclusive. The structural adjustments should be gradual so as not to destabilize the economy of developing countries abruptly.

    As a panelist at the event, Tatsuya Machida, deputy chief of mission (Minister), Embassy of Japan, stated in his statement that the JICA is currently working on developing a unified energy and electricity plan.

    “This may aid in your (Bangladesh’s) achievement of the target by 2040. It’s a lofty goal, but with realistic measures, it might be feasible.”

    Tanvir Shakil Joy, a member of the parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said: “As a climate-vulnerable country, our expectations are naturally high before such a summit.”

    “But we have to decide our own plan, which will fit in our contest,” he added.

    Fahmida Khatun, executive director of CPD, chaired the session.

    Matt Cannell, deputy high commissioner, British High Commission; Florian Höllen, head of Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; Mohammad Syed Aminur Rahman, director (Deputy Secretary), Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) also spoke at the event.

    This year the summit will highlight a number of global and regional crises and emergent challenges including the global climate crisis.

    The global leaders will discuss each other’s commitment to phasing out fossil fuels by 2030 to mitigate climate change and ensure energy security.

    Being a developing country, Bangladesh has a special interest in this summit on multiple accounts including what initiatives are taken by developed countries towards ending the use of fossil fuels and accelerating the transition to renewable energy targeting the developing world.

    Taking account of the importance of the G7 Summit, CPD organizes this national dialogue. The objective of the dialogue was to raise the issues and concerns related to G7 countries’ investment in fossil fuels in developing countries, particularly in Bangladesh and to demand accelerated renewable energy financing in the coming years.