FM for ensuring green growth to achieve SDGs

DHAKA : Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Wednesday stressed the need for ensuring green growth in the country’s economy aiming to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) and cope with the adverse impacts of climate change, reports UNB.
“Bangladesh is adopting a two-fold strategy against climate change. The main focus is on increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change, which is important to address the adverse impacts of climate change that are affecting the livelihoods of millions of people and the economy as a whole,” he said.
The Foreign Minister was addressing the inaugural session of ‘Green Growth Solutions’ conference jointly arranged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish Embassy in Dhaka, the Nordic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) and Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) at a city hotel.
Experts and policymakers at the conference discussed how Bangladesh can effectively apply energy efficiency, and sustainable waste and water management in various industries.
“I see huge potential for Danish inspired solution being applied in this country, and I hope this conference will boost the green transition of Bangladesh”, said Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mikael H Winther addressing the audience.
He said it is a core element of Danish development efforts in Bangladesh – and in a global sense – the Danish experts will share their knowledge and experience on clean energy.
Minister Ali said Bangladesh is also working towards achieving lower carbon climate resilient development. “The country is investing huge domestic resources to carry forward the green activities meaningfully in line with the national policies, strategies and master plans,” he added.
While pursuing for achieving green growth through green industries, it is a key question for the developing countries whether they are to compromise economic growth and prosperity they are seeking for, Mahmood Ali said.
“There’re growing evidence that attaining cost-effective and sustained economic growth is possible through resource efficiency in the lifecycle of production and services combined with appropriate green technology and eco-innovation,” he said adding that it also contributes to building eco-friendly sustainable resilient cities.
Focusing on the country’s economy, he said Bangladesh economy is now at a crossroad while further growth acceleration is essential to make a transition to a higher growth path to obtain the middle-income country status by 2021.
Ali said the need for an inclusive and sustainable growth – for a greener, resource efficient, climate-smart, and more competitive economy is felt more than ever.
He said Bangladesh must carve out an innovative solution to make a breakthrough in several areas of policymaking and institutional processes to achieve social and environmental targets under the SDGs by 2030.
“Given Bangladesh’s reality, we perhaps cannot do it overnight, but we’re cognizant of the fact that we need to embolden our existing efforts to shift from brown to green growth making production and consumption more sustainable, increasing quality of life and, more importantly, reducing impacts of and on the climate change.”
About government initiatives to ensure green growth, the minister said Bangladesh has put greater emphasis on energy efficiency, energy conservation and utilisation of renewable energy in industry and housing sector.
More than 4 million solar home systems have been installed across the country serving 16 million people, he said, adding the country promotes cleaner production with the principle of resource efficiency and resource recycling.
Minister Ali said today’s Green Growth Solutions Conference will help key decision-makers enrich their understanding on the concept of green growth itself, its adoption for mainstream economy and its applicability to the Bangladeshi context taking cue from Danish green growth experiences in the private and public sector. At the conference, over 250 Bangladeshi and Danish experts and policymakers discussed opportunities and challenges relating to green growth.
PM’s energy adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Chief SDG Coordinator from PM’s Office Abul Kalam Azad, Executive Director of State of Green Finn Mortensen, MCCI President Nihad Kabir and NCCI Vice president Imtiaz Ilahi, among others, spoke on the occasion.