Dhaka (Bangladesh): The Climate Parliament Bangladesh Group of MPs today welcomed the announcement of a special fund designed to finance new renewable energy generation in Bangladesh. The new state budget for 2014-15, presented in the Bangladeshi Parliament on the 5th June by the Bangladesh Minister of Finance, Mr Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, announced a special fund of TK 400 crore (around USD 52,000,000), to establish RE-based power plants. The aim is to reach 800MW of electricity by 2015 by using renewables, up from around 350MW at present.
Climate Parliament MPs, in a series of briefings and letters to the Finance and Power Ministers and in campaign of targeted parliamentary interventions over the last two years, have consistently pushed for the creation of new funding streams for renewable energy development, and welcomed the Minister's new budget as a significant step forward. In addition, our MPs have achieved another important victory as the Ministry for Finance announced specific budget allocations to the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) - thus meeting a central demand of the Climate Parliament campaign.
Over the previous weeks and months, Climate Parliament MPs have been actively engaged in discussions with government and key stakeholders in the Bangladeshi energy sector, consistently pushing for firmer commitments to renewables and providing valuable legislative oversight on central government efforts to promote sustainable energy. In a meeting with the new Power, Energy and Mineral Minister, Mr Nasrul Hamid, on the 10th June 2014, our MPs submitted a memorandum, demanding the ‘establishment of a Clean Energy Fund’ in the country, and for earmarked financial allocations to SREDA. This followed a previous meeting with the Power Minister on 27 March 2014, where the MPs submitted a detailed briefing to the Minister on the same issues; a meeting with the Finance Minister in October 2013 where our MPs pushed for more financial support to the renewable energy sector; and a series of meetings with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy, where our MPs raised renewable energy and the status of SREDA for discussion.
MP Mr. Nahim Razzaq, convener of the Climate Parliament Bangladesh Steering Committee, was delighted with the new budget allocation announcment: "Bangladesh posses lots of potential for renewable energy development in the country. Strong government commitment and facilitation are required to develop the renewable energy and also to face the energy challenges in the country. It is encouraging that the country is according high emphasis to produce electricity from renewable energy and our efforts are giving positive results."
Congratulations to our Bangladeshi MPs and the team of Climate Parliament staff supporting their campaign!