June 29, 2021

350.org and YouthNet for Climate Justice commend Bangladesh’s move to cancel coal plants, urges gas exclusion

The Bangladesh government announced recently that they will cancel 10 coal-fired power plant projects as they revise the country’s power system master plan. As part of the overhaul to the national power supply grid, the country will instead generate 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2041 and set up more gas-based power plants within Bangladesh.

350.org South Asia Organizer Shibayan commended the move but cautioned that a Green New Deal for Bangladesh must exclude gas:

“The Bangladesh government has taken the first step in moving away from the dirty coal energy that fuels the climate crisis. They need to cancel the Matabari Phase 1 and 2 Coal Plants and commit to not building any new coal plants. In this transition to renewable energy, the government must also know that gas cannot be a bridge fuel. Building more gas power plants is inconsistent with the Paris climate goals, and locks in decades of carbon emissions. We’re at a tipping point now – Bangladesh must choose to fund low-cost renewables that propel the country ahead of the climate race.”

Sohanur Rahman, Founder of YouthNet for Climate Justice in Bangladesh said:

“We’re very happy to hear that the 10 coal power plants will be cancelled, but disappointed to see that this doesn’t include the Rampal coal plant in the Sundarbans UNESCO Heritage Site. Each of them has caused damage to our air, water, natural ecosystems, and even our society. But we are wary of gas-based power plants taking their place. The climate crisis has been accelerating and our villages have been submerged underwater just recently due to more intense cyclones. Switching to gas will not solve this problem. We must make the transition to 100% community-led renewable energy such as wind and solar power.”