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Bangladesh pledges to reduce 22% carbon emissions by 2030

In spite of being among the lowest emitters in the world, Bangladesh reiterated at the Glasgow climate summit that it will cut carbon emissions by 89.47 million tonnes, equivalent to 21.85% of carbon dioxide by 2030 as part of global efforts to control the emissions that are causing climate change.

To reach the target, Bangladesh will cut 96.1% emissions from the energy sector such as power, transport, industry, households, commercial, agriculture, brick kilns and fugitive emissions. The remaining 3.9% will be cut from agriculture and livestock, forestry, and municipal solid waste and wastewater.

Urging developed countries to deliver on their commitments to poorer nations, Bangladesh Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Mohammad Shahab Uddin said, "We have to limit global warming and keep the goal of 1.5C alive for our sustainability." 


The updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of Bangladesh put total emissions at 169.06 million tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs), which is estimated to be increased by 2030 to around 409.41 million tonnes. 

At present, the energy sector is the largest contributor with 93.09 tonnes (55.07%). Agriculture, livestock and forestry contribute 27.35%, amounting to 46.24 metric tonnes, cement and fertiliser contribute 3.32% or 5.6 metric tonnes, and municipal solid waste and wastewater contribute 14.26%, which is 24.11 metric tonnes. 


Presently, China is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide gas in the world. It accounts for 28% of the world's emissions, the United State of America has 15%, India 7%, and Bangladesh only 0.09%. 


The minister said, "We have canceled 10 coal-based power plants worth $12 billion of foreign investment because of climate change. Bangladesh has already endorsed the 133 Country Glasgow Leader's Declaration on Forest and Land use. We have installed more than six million solar-home systems in off-grid areas, and more than 4.5 million improved cookstoves have been distributed in rural areas." 


"IPCC 6th Assessment report is clear," Shahb Uddin added. "If emissions are not rapidly reduced in this decade, this would runs the risk of dangerous and irreversible impacts on natural and human systems. This will expose the most vulnerable countries – particularly the LDCs – to unmanageable levels of risk."

The minister said Bangladesh will increase renewable energy projects, use improved technology for power generation, use less emission-based transport systems, use solar energy in agriculture, reduce traditional brick kilns, reduce emission from rice fields, fertiliser use, deforestation reduction and will improve municipal solid waste management to achieve the new carbon emission target.

He requested international players to invest in green energy for this transformation.

Dr Hasan Mahmud, information minister of Bangladesh, said at an event on the sidelines arranged by the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) at Bangladesh Pavilion, "In Bangladesh, there are 1.24 million conventional types of diesel-run pumps which consume a huge amount of diesel, emitting a lot of carbon dioxide. Moreover, the farmers have to buy diesel. We have requested the donors to invest to replace diesel pumps with solar irrigation pumps as it will help reduce carbon emission and help to save the world. "

Bangladesh for clear climate finance roadmap

At a press conference on Monday, Bangladesh said that they were proposing six key issues for the negotiators at COP26 in Glasgow, including a clear roadmap for climate finance. The country's representatives said it would be frustrating if the treaty failed because global leaders had failed to deliver. 

"The global community still has a lack of feeling of urgency and a true commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement so that countries like us can have a sustainable future worthy of human beings and for a just society," Shahb Uddin said. 

"One crucial demand is the definition of climate finance, which is yet to be agreed upon. There is no clear roadmap on $100 billion dollars mobilisation and the new quantified goal. Urgent and adequate replenishment for Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund is also looked for," added the minister.

This story was originally published by The Business Standard on November 9, 2021. It was produced as part of the 2021 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organised by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Centre for Peace and Security.

Banner image: Bangladesh government delegates at a press briefing at COP26 / Credit: Shamsuddin Illius.