Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has urged the G7 countries to take initiatives to end the support for fossil fuels and accelerate the transition to renewable energy.
The call from a dialogue titled “G7 Summit in 2023: Call for Global Initiatives for Ending Support for Fossil Fuels and Accelerating the Transition to Renewable Energy” , organised by the CPD at a city hotel Wednesday.
The 49th G7 Summit is scheduled to be held on 19-21 May 2023 at Hiroshima, Japan.
The Summit will underscore the regional and global crises as well as emergent issues such as the climate crisis.
Global leaders will discuss phasing out fossil fuels by 2030 to mitigate climate change and ensure energy security.
The CPD observed that Bangladesh, as a developing country, is particularly interested in initiatives by developed countries to transition to renewable energy and end fossil fuel use.
Addressing the event, Dr Fahmida Khatun, executive director of CPD, said the G7 Summit has several targets such as reducing GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions, phasing out fossil fuels, and transitioning to renewable energy.
“But concrete actions to support these goals have not been specified. Developing countries have the opportunity to highlight their specific demands during events like the G7 Summit”, she added.
In his keynote presentation, Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of CPD, emphasised on the need to address energy security and clean energy concerns in G7 countries, specifically regarding investments in fossil fuels in Bangladesh and the demand for renewable energy financing.
He said Bangladesh should expect guidance, assistance, support, and funding from G7 to prevent, mitigate, and adapt to climate change.
“The G7 should stop investing in fossil fuels, including coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG), in developing nations. Investment in LNG should be prevented since it is a carbon-based fuel”.
He also urged the G7 countries to set renewable energy finance targets and focus on funding the sector in developing countries.
“Advanced renewable technology should be encouraged, and low-cost renewable technologies should be transferred to developing nations”, said Moazzem.
Moazzem also urged the G7 to immediately end coal investment in developing countries, meet their 2022 commitment by 2023, and stop supporting LNG import and financing LNG infrastructure in those countries.
Tanvir Shakil Joy, member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said, “There are several plans on how we can transition to renewable energy sources, but these plans need to be implemented and coordinated in an appropriate way so that the livelihoods of the common people do not get hampered.”
“Bangladesh needs to plan the immediate, short-,medium- and long-term plans with realistic steps so that the 2040 goals can be achieved” said Tatsuya MACHIDA, Deputy Chief of Mission (Minister), Embassy of Japan.
Commenting on how Bangladesh can transition to renewable energy, Florian Höllen, head of cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, said “There is a potential for geothermal power in Bangladesh using old existing drillings for gas and turning them into sources of heat and also from the heat of the inner Earth.”
Matt Cannell, acting High Commissioner, British High Commission said, “Developing countries like Bangladesh should try to leverage more finance out of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) system for energy security”.
Syed Mohammad Aminur Rahman, Director, Energy Efficiency & Conservation, SREDA, Government of Bangladesh offered comments and said that the issues of renewable energy technologies transfer, funding for climate crisis and energy efficient technologies could be raised in the upcoming G7 Summit.
High-level policymakers, diplomats, foreign delegates, researchers, development practitioners, academics, business leaders, civil society representatives, international development partners, and journalists participated in the dialogue.