MCCI chief calls for overcoming hurdles to ensure green growth

Nihad Kabir Nihad Kabir

President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) Nihad Kabir said Bangladesh has been facing several challenges in environmental front. The challenges include air and water pollution, loss of forest and its degradation, unsustainable use of fishery resources in water-bodies, damaging of ecosystem and many more.

She said Bangladesh is ranked 179 out of 180 countries in Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2018.

"We need to work around to overcome the challenges of ensuring a green growth."

The MCCI chief said these while delivering the opening speech at a discussion styled - "A High-Level  Dialogue on Green Growth."

The premier chamber body and Adam Smith International jointly organised the function at MCCI Chamber Building in the capital on Monday.

The MCCI president also said with proper planning and implementation many of the desired objectives can be and should be achieved.

Countries like Cambodia and Vietnam have integrated green growth plans into their economic policies. Thailand has come up with a multi-year development plan, which involves reducing energy intensity by 25 per cent by 2030, she mentioned.

Speaking at the function, Munawar Misbah Moin, managing director of Rahimafrooz, said the country should have generated 10 per cent power of its total existing production of 16,000 megawatts (MW) from renewable energy sources in line with the government's decision.

But it is now generating only 500 MW by using various renewable energy sources, which is inadequate to ensure sustainable power production, he said.

"The government has taken a plan to produce 25,000 MW of power by 2020, of which 2,500 MW is (planned to be produced) from the renewable energy sources."

He raised a question how it is possible to generate such a huge amount of solar power within two and a half years only.

Dr Masrur Reaz, programme manager of International Finance Corporation (IFC), said the underground water-level depletes one to two meters every year following use of huge quantity of water to continue industrial production.

"The country's export earning from RMG sector is now around $33 billion. The water-level will deplete more when the earning will reach $50 billion."

Both private and public sectors should implement water efficiency programmes to prevent fast depletion of underground water-level, he opined.

Adam Smith International Country Manager Suvojit Chattopadhyay, International Centre for Climate Change and Development Director Saleemul Huq, Plummy Fashions Managing Director Md Fazlul Huq and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Vice President Mohammed Nasir, among others, spoke at the event.

According to a concept paper on the dialogue, the private sector continues to work under several constraints - both internal and external.

Various bottlenecks, such as - ability to access green finance and technology, exist for the sector. These challenges are particularly acute in case of the small and nascent enterprises.

An enabling policy environment can help jumpstart the process of the private sector adopting measures to go green, it added.

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