Govt to go stricter on power plant emission standard

    Originally posted in The Business Standard on 28 February 2023

    Countries like China, Japan, America or India construct a power plant in Bangladesh they don’t consider their home country’s emission standard

    The government is set to be stricter about the emission standard for the power plants in order to protect the country from becoming an emission dumping station of the technology supplying country.

    The parliamentary standing committee on Environment, Forest and Climate Change has recommended that if China is implementing a project, then their home country’s emission standard should be applicable for Bangladesh, the committee’s chairman Saber Hossain Choudhury said yesterday while addressing as a chief guest at a national dialogue organised by Oxfam.

    Saber Hossain Choudhury pointed out that when countries like China, Japan, America or India construct a power plant in Bangladesh they don’t consider their home country’s emission standard.

    “Instead they want to take an extra benefit by setting a different standard for Bangladesh,” he added.

    But we can’t let Bangladesh be an emission dumping station of such countries, said Saber Hossain.

    Regarding the upcoming integrated power and energy masterplan, he said, “We need to be aware that any specific technology is not imposed on us by the consultant agency which is not viable for us.”

    The country’s plan must be based on a very sound principle, he said at a dialogue – “Green Growth and Just Transition in Bangladesh: The Need for Corporate and International Cooperation –attended by officials of relevant ministries, RMG owners, policy experts, energy experts, climate justice experts and development partners.

    Talking about ensuring the just cause of climate change in Bangladesh, Saber Hossain Choudhury said, “The developed countries could not meet the commitments they met in UNFCCC, but they want us to implement all the conditions.”

    Participating in the panel discussion, Director General of Power Cell, Eng Mohammad Hossain said that just transition is not possible in the energy sector only depending on renewable energy.

    “Therefore, now we are emphasising on green energy which include renewable, nuclear, hydro and imported electricity too, ” said Mohammad Hossain.

    Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan said that the association has committed to the UNFCCC to cut the GHG emission of the industry by 30% 2030.

    “But while we are committed to making strides toward reducing the emission of the industry, accessing green finance comes as a major area of concern. Especially the SME’s are not being able to access the available green finance avenues like Green Transformation Fund, SREUP of AFD and upcoming GCF,” he said.

    Our entrepreneurs are sensitised and ready to invest in green upgradation but most of the cases they are deprived of our financial sector, he added.

    Mostafiz Uddin, Founder and CEO of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange said that climate action must go beyond decolonization and it has to be a shared responsibility of the local and international stakeholders.

    “But we never saw the clients show their interest to take the responsibility of climate change while they are making orders,” he said.

    There should be green financing experts in each bank to make the financing more accessible, he recommends.

    Ashish Damle, country representative of Oxfam Bangladesh delivered the welcome address.