UN to help Bangladesh ensure sustainable energy development

The News Today May 22, 2012

Visiting leader of a high-level mission of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) programme Luis Gomez-Echeverri on Tuesday said the UN will help Bangladesh build up a common platform to develop renewable energy in the country, reports UNB.

In an interview with UNB, Gomez-Echeverri said his team would asses the needs of Bangladesh in achieving its target to increase the share of renewable energy in the total electricity production.

“Beside our assessment, we’ll accommodate the views of all stakeholders, including businesses, government, investors, community groups and academia,” he said.

At present, Bangladesh’s renewable energy’s share in the total power generation is about 1 percent. The government recently set a target to increase the share to 5 percent by 2015 and 10 percent by 2020. But implementation of the plan needs $3-4 billion for which Bangladesh is making approach to donor agencies and international investors.

Gomez-Echeverri said the United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL).

The SE4ALL initiative aims to achieve 3 objectives by the year 2030, ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

He said, “This is a great opportunity for Bangladesh to scale up investment for energy for poverty alleviation with the help of UN while a large section of people do not have access to energy.”

Gomez-Echeverri said it requires a common platform of the government and other stakeholders, including businesses, investors, NGOs and academia.

He said under the present initiative of the UN Secretary General, 50 countries across the globe will set their own priorities and needs, and each country will formulate the priorities considering its own circumstances and needs. “It’ll be totally country-driven.”

Gomez-Echeverri said Bangladesh government has to create an environment so that donor agencies and private investors take interest to mobilise their funds and invest in renewable energy sector.

He said there are several climate change mitigation funds, both international, domestic as well. “What we hope again, it’s not Secretary General doing anything. Rather, through this initiative, hopefully what can identify better ways to use those funds. I’m aware of those funds, which are available for adaptation.”

He said Bangladesh is most vulnerable country, but there some other funds which are available could be utilised for renewable energy through the common platform.

According to him, funds could be obtained from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other agencies.

Luis Gomez-Echeverri on Tuesday met at IDB Bhaban in the city with government representatives and other stakeholders from private sector, NGOs and academia to learn about Bangladesh position and needs about the sustainable energy.