Govt to invest $80b for climate resilience
The government is planning to invest $80 billion to shift the country from climate-vulnerable to a sustainable climate-resilient country under Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan (MCPP) by 2030, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said yesterday while unveiling the national budget for the fiscal year 2022-2023.
In his budget speech, the minister termed the MCPP a strategic investment framework saying the investment being planned will be funded from both national and external sources.
During his speech, he informed the parliament about the government actions and plans taken for the conservation of the environment.
"Considering the immense importance of environmental protection, the government has made it mandatory to follow a pragmatic and inclusive environment-friendly plan in all development activities", he said.
Referring to the NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution), a non-binding national target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the minister said that the government has updated the NDC, setting the target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6.73 percent by 2030 with the country's own financing and technological capabilities.
He said the country has a plan to reduce emissions by another 15.12 percent which is subjected to the availability of international funding and technical assistance.
Reaffirming Bangladesh's commitment to phase out fossil fuel, he said the government has revised its decision on ten coal-based power plants scrapping four and replacing others with renewable energy or gas.
The government is also proceeding with the plan to produce 40 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2041, he added.
Upholding the government initiatives taken to conserve the overall environment, Mostafa Kamal said 35 new protected areas have been declared in the last 13 years. They include nine national parks, 18 wildlife sanctuaries, three eco-parks, one botanical garden, two marine protected areas, and two special biodiversity areas. Total protected areas in Bangladesh now stand at 51.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), told The Daily Star that the $80 billion fund will not be enough considering the challenges Bangladesh is facing. She also questioned how the fund will be allocated to different parts of the country.
"The question arises on which sectors government will invest in and how they will determine the priorities. Will the fund be allocated for sustainable dams in haor areas or will it go to Dakop of Satkhira?" she questioned.
Based on her past experiences, she added that the fund often doesn't reach the people most affected by natural catastrophes.