Climate Change and Development Context
Bangladesh has about 150 million people making it the sixth most densely populated country in the world, with an average of 1,142 people per sq. km. Approximately 72 percent of the population lives in rural areas. The Government expects the population to grow to approximately 265 million by 2050, putting increasing pressure on already scarce natural resources.
Bangladesh is widely considered to be one of the nations most threatened by the impacts of climate change. Though still a less developed country (based on the LDC definition), Bangladesh envisions becoming a middle-income country by 2021. The country’s economy has had a steady growth rate of 6 percent for the past decade. Urbanization and energy demand are rapidly growing. Bangladesh reached the first United Nations Millennium Development Goal on poverty reduction two years ahead of the 2015 deadline, and the national poverty rate is 26 percent.
Energy supply is still the most critical infrastructure constraint on Bangladesh’s economic growth. As of 2012 statistics, 60 percent of the population currently have access to electricity (including off-grid renewable energy). Biomass accounts for 68 percent of primary energy consumption, and about 10 percent of the population have access to modern fuels. Fuel wood constitutes 41 percent of total biomass cooking energy.
Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The geographical location of Bangladesh makes it one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, with the low lying coastal districts being the most climate vulnerable part of the country, prone to cyclones, sea level rise, frequent flooding etc. The effects of climate change are likely to increase, causing more frequent and severe cyclones and other natural disasters. Deforestation and the burning of biomass continue to contribute to the climate challenge in Bangladesh with the coastal areas experiencing the worst impacts. Moreover, with two-thirds of the country less than 20 feet above sea level, the intrusion of salt into freshwater wells, frequent flooding, and the displacement of people from their homes is an ongoing threat. Adaptation to climate change impacts is a high government priority, and the political will to address climate change is strong.
According to Bangladesh’s Second National Communication to the UNFCCC, the energy sector is the largest source of GHG emissions in Bangladesh. Subsequent sectors are industrial process and agriculture. Among the different fuel-consuming sectors, energy industries is the highest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, followed by manufacturing and construction. Electricity generation is the only significant source of CO2 emissions.
Key National Institutions, Policies and Initiatives
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is the focal point for climate change and policies related to GHG emissions. However, due to Government directive, all other line ministries also consider environment and climate change in all development interventions.
The Government of Bangladesh is working to adopt an actionable low emission development strategy (LEDS), and the Government published a National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) in November 2005. Its LEDS is outlined in the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) which was issued in 2008 and was updated in 2009. The BCCSAP details how Bangladesh will integrate climate-resilient, low emission growth into its broader economic growth framework. Climate change and low emission priorities are also explicitly mentioned in different national and sectoral policies. BCCSAP was also as a tool to attract finance where one pillar out of six relates to mitigation suggesting interventions on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The most important policies that promote or cripple climate change mitigation efforts in cities are:
- The Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 by GoB General Economic Division Planning Commission and GoN Embassy of Kingdom of The Netherlands
- Bangladesh Climate Change Action Plan 2009 by Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
- National Plan for Disaster Management 2010-2015 by Disaster Management Bureau, Disaster Management & Relief Division, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
- Perspective Plan for Bangladesh 2010-2021by General Economics Division,
Planning Commission Government of The People’s Republic of Bangladesh
- The Sixth Five Year Plan (FY 2011-FY2015) by Planning Commission
Ministry of Planning Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Bandudeltas BDP 2100 (presentation delivered 26 Oct 2014). “Climate Change in
Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100” http://gobeshona.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/BDP-CC-session-Gobeshona-26Oct2014-final.pdf
Disaster Management & Relief Division, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (2010). “National Plan for Disaster Management 2010-2015”
GACC Bangladesh Market Assessment: Sector Mapping, Accenture Development Partnerships, 2012. http://www.cleancookstoves.org/resources_files/bangladesh-climate-change.pdf
General Economics Division (2010). “Planning Commission Government of The People’s Republic of Bangladesh Perspective Plan for Bangladesh 2010-2021” http://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/upload/Bangladesh/Bangladesh_Final_Draft_OPP_June_2010.pdf
Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (2011) “The Sixth Five Year Plan (FY 2011-FY2015)” http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2013/cr1363.pdf
Power Division, MPEMR, Government of Bangladesh.
http://www.boi.gov.bd/index.php/about-bangladesh1/government-and-policies/government-vision-2021, and “After Much Heartbreak, Some Good News at Last for Bangladesh”. Time World. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013.http://world.time.com/2013/07/18/after-much-heartbreak-some-good-news-at-last-for-bangladesh/
Quazi Md. Fazlul Haque (presentation delivered 17-18 March 2015). “Strengthening capacities of Bangladesh to mainstream climate change concerns into national urban related policies” http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/Session%20D-Bangladesh%20Report.pdf
System Planning Directorate, BPDB, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Assessment of the Improved Stove Market in Bangladesh, Winrock International and E+Co for USAID, January 2012, p.8-9.
World Bank Data – Bhutan (accessed 21 July 2015). http://data.worldbank.org/country/bangladesh?display=graph
http://www.kh.undp.org/content/bangladesh/en/home/countryinfo/ (accessed 30 January 2014)
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Member(s) active in Bangladesh