H.E. Sheikh Hasina
Hon'ble Prime Minister
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Prime Minister's Office
Old Sangsad Bhaban, Tejgaon, Dhaka 1215, Bangladesh
Phone: +88 01555 888 555, +88 01711 520000, +88 01819 260371
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: +88 02 811 3244, +88 02 811 3243, +88 02 811 1015, +88 02 811 1490
APPEAL FOR CONCERTED ACTION ON THE CLIMATE CRISIS
Dear H.E. Prime Minister:
We, the civil society representatives from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Pacific, heartily congratulate you on being elected as Chairperson of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a group of 48 developing countries vulnerable to climate change . On behalf of local communities and environmental groups, we also express our sincerest gratitude for adopting a resolution declaring a “Planetary Emergency” in Parliament 14 November 2019, making Bangladesh the first country in the world to do so . We deeply appreciate your reconfirmation on your commitment to "work towards correcting this imbalance" of the earth's climate.
We would like you to reflect on the decision in the CVF Marrakesh Communique 2016, which pledged to achieve "net carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy" by 2050 . To this end, with regards to Bangladesh’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement, you pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy use at 10% by 2021. At present Bangladesh has only met 4% of that target as of November 2019.
A recent study by the Institute for Sustainable Future, World Future Council and Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), shows that Bangladesh has enough land and natural resources to generate 156 Gigawatts (GW) of electricity from solar energy only . While the country has this viable but largely untapped potential for solar energy generation, unfortunately, it has been observed that the state is approving more and more fossil fuels, especially coal-based power plants, being set up by public and private companies.
Recent reports indicate that Bangladesh has an overcapacity of electricity generation, and as of April 2019 more than one-third of the total installed capacity remained idle . The unused power reaches 40% in 2019 . Your office must be well aware that the state has had to compensate at least USD 4.45 billion in the last 6 years and USD 1.00 billion in fiscal year 2018-19 as Capacity Charge for stranded assets of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) .
At present media reports and government, announcements suggest that the state has given permission to establish around 29 coal power plants in the country  along with hundreds of furnace oil, diesel, and gas-based power plants. Alarmingly the coal power plants alone would emit 5.3 billion tons of Co2 in their lifetime of 40 years .
Apart from the pollution and emission concern, we would also like to bring your attention to a specific coal power company operating with a duty exemption of BDT 31.71 billion (USD 396.36 million) , S.S. Power Limited (owned by S. Alam Group) . S.S Power limited has been associated with the killing of at least 4 innocent villagers who were protesting on land grabbing by the power plant project developers on 4 April 2016 . We hope your office will look into these serious social concerns associated with coal power plant investments in Bangladesh.
Consequently, we are conveying concerns over the decision of reducing Value Added Tax (VAT) from imported coal up to 2025, by 10% to reduce the cost of electricity generated from coal power plants  while various International reports suggest that solar power is much cheaper than coal in Asia . Subsidy schemes on coal will lead to further extraction related impacts in coal exporting countries which will be compounded by the emission of burning coal in importing countries. Honorable Prime Minister, we would like to remind you that the decision to expand coal and other fossil fuel in Bangladesh, which is one of the Most Vulnerable Countries (MVCs) due to climate change is contradictory to the spirit of the nation’s commitments in NDC as well as the international consensus of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius through the Paris Agreement .
We strongly and sincerely believe that with your leadership in the CVF, you will lead the Forum by setting examples and dismantling all subsidies to fossil fuel investments in the country, and move away from all coal-based power towards a green and 100% renewable future.
Urge from Global Civil Society
Withdraw the approvals of Coal and other fossil fuel-based power plantsCancel all subsidies and tax exemptions offered for coal and other fossil fuelsPay the highest attention and set ambitious targets of generating power from renewable energy from 10% to 100% by 2050 and take the necessary actions to hit the target urgently.Provide adequate subsidies for home-based renewable energy systems to encourage households to initiate solar systems in urban areas in addition to those in rural households.Take necessary actions to install two-way electricity meters for energy consumers so that individual citizens can contribute to national power generation from captive renewable power systems.
Mr. Rayyan Hassan
NGO Forum on ADB
Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), Australia
Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED), Bangladesh
Bank Information Center (BIC) Europe
Bank Information Center (BIC), USA
Center for Environment and Participatory Research (CEPR), Bangladesh
Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), Sri Lanka
Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), Mongolia
Corporate Europe Observatory, Europe
Digo Bikas Institute, Nepal
Environics Trust, India
Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN), Sri Lanka
Forest Peoples Programme, UK
Foundation for Environmental Management and Campaign against Poverty, Tanzania
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), Philippines
Friends of the Earth (FOE)
Frontera Water Protection Alliance (FWPA), USA
Gender Action, USA
Global Rights, Nigeria
Global Rights, USA
Green Advocates International, Liberia
Housing and Land Rights Network, Habitat International Coalition
INSAF (Indian Social Action Forum), India
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, USA
Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), Japan
KRuHA (People’s Coalition for the Right to Water), Indonesia
Life Haven (Center for Independent Living), Philippines
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Philippines
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), Philippines
Project Affected Peoples Association (PAPA), India
Rivers without Boundaries International Coalition
SNI (Indonesian Fisherfolk Union), Indonesia
Sri Lanka Nature Group (SLNG), Sri Lanka
We Women Lanka, Sri Lanka
WomanHealth Philippines (WHP)
Za Zemiata/Friends of the Earth - Bulgaria
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