The green economy is a new way of living that is based on sustainable consumption and production. In recent years, the concept of a green economy has been getting widely accepted in many countries. To make the green economy a reality in Bangladesh, there are some challenges that are needed to be addressed.
One challenge is the lack of access to clean energy, which makes it difficult for people to live sustainably. However, the Bangladeshi Government has already implemented sound policies that would help promote the green economy. Let’s focus on the problems and prospects of the green economy in Bangladesh.
What is the Green Economy?
The green economy is a term that refers to a way of living that is environmentally friendly and economically sustainable. It refers to practices and policies that promote green energy production, consumption, and waste reduction.
Green economy initiatives can be focused on a specific sector or area, such as renewable energy, transportation, agriculture, city planning, or manufacturing. The Green Economy has been growing in popularity since the term was used in a 1989 report by a group of leading environmental economists, which was made for the Government of the United Kingdom.
In 2008, the United Nations Environment Program started the Green Economy Initiative (GEI). The objective was to strengthen support for environment-friendly investments. One of the aims of the initiative was to increase support at the country level for global risk studies and influence policy-makers to implement green economy programs.
Prospects of Green Economy in Bangladesh
Generally, the financial sector of a country supports the economic growth of that country. So, if the activities of the financial industry are carried out with proper preparation and sincerity, the expansion of the green economy can be another development wonder in Bangladesh.
The population in Bangladesh is increasing day by day. And the use of technology in various stages of product production by various organizations is increasing to keep pace with the increased demand. Hence, the standard of cleanliness of the environment is decreasing.
These eventually increase the unexpected costs related to health, loss of biodiversity, carbon emissions, irreparable damage to the ecosystem, surface temperature, climate change, heavy rainfall, non-rainfall, cold currents, etc.
To cope with these issues, the development of a green economy can bring solutions as well as opportunities for exploration within a natural and healthy natural environment.
Green communication, green agriculture, green energy, green banking, green technology, green investment, green marketing, green industry, working environment, transportation, biogas, and geothermal energy all are directly related to a green economy.
However, Bangladesh is not yet ready to apply all of these to improve the green economy. It is a costly and slow process. But the country has some prospects in some sectors such as using solar energy, recycling the used product, green agriculture and using biogas.
Bangladesh can increase the use of solar energy. With the proper use of endless light and heat from the sun, we can create an environment-friendly country in the coming days through various effective measures. Fossil fuel reserves are not infinite, and they will be finished.
But solar energy is derived from nature, a great gift of nature. Encouraging the principle of conservation of natural resources derived from nature ensures habitable earth for future generations.
Moreover, renewable energy can be derived from ocean waves, water, and wind without any negative environmental impact. Thus, renewable energy generation, supply, and technological excellence will create jobs as well as create an environmentally friendly modern country. The growth and expansion of green employment depend on ensuring abundant use of renewable energy.
Converting the environment and destroying waste into incredible energy resources will be the wealth of our future by processing the remaining unnecessary part of daily used products.
Because excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides in unplanned agricultural management creates dire conditions. Therefore, the idea of green agriculture is the right decision for the coming future. Using green fertilizer and chemical-free fertilizer helps retain land fertility and increase fertility simultaneously with greater quantity on less land.
Safe crop production is key. This system talks about all environmentally friendly production and production systems, including the use of organic fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers, diversification of crops, and production of mixed crops. In this regard, encouraging the production and more use of biogas will lead the country toward risk-free environmental development.
Challenges of Green Economy in Bangladesh
The government has taken several important steps to take the green economy forward, which is very positive. But there are many challenges too.
Green factory installation costs can be up to 30% more than a conventional factory because pleasing production process, energy-efficient technology, water conservation technology, solar panel technology, inverter technology, and rainwater harvesting results in greater construction costs.
Moreover, industries need to utilize foreign consulting companies because of the absence of qualified professionals in the local area, which increases construction costs a lot. It, therefore, becomes quite hard to reach green economically.
Lack of Policy
Bangladesh has not issued a specific green industrial policy declaration. The high rates of corporate tax and value-added tax are also creating an obstacle to green industrialization, which also makes it challenging to import high-end machinery from abroad.
Lack of Awareness
Consumer behavior is additionally a tricky component in green industry development. The local consumers are poorly informed about the importance of going green. Demand for green products is from simply the western business world. As a result, only export-oriented enterprises are motivated to transition from green industries.
Land scarcity, a high-interest cost of loans, insufficient transportation options, insufficient infrastructure for utility services, and other problems can be obstacles to the establishment of green industries in Bangladesh.
Taken Steps to Establish a Green Economy in Bangladesh
The Bangladesh government has already taken several steps to go green. The Government has already approved the 'Renewable Energy Authority Act' in 2012. Coastal green belt development activities have been undertaken. Also, adopted a five-year waiver on the commercial production of renewable energy.
The Bangladesh government has also taken steps to set up solar power and biogas plants. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project was launched in 2013 to make organic compost fertilizer from municipal waste. To reduce air pollution from brick kilns, instructions have been given to convert old brick kilns to modern eco-friendly technology.
Banks have now stopped lending to old brick kilns. A rapid expansion program has been undertaken to set up solar power and biogas plants. Environment courts have been set up in all districts. The government has already taken several steps to encourage farmers to use organic fertilizers. The country has already earned carbon credits by launching a project to produce bio-fertilizers from waste and use solar energy in some villages.
Bangladesh Bank has launched a refinancing program for entrepreneurs to produce green products. Between 2012 and 2016, Bangladesh Bank almost doubled its capital (from Tk 478 million to Tk 920 million) in refinancing green products. Sectors receiving the highest amount of loans under this initiative are—eco-friendly brick kilns, renewable energy, and liquid waste management.
Moreover, Bangladesh Bank has prepared environmental and social risk management policies. Through this policy, green financing initiatives have been taken. The organization is also working on identifying the risks of financing entrepreneurs involved in the production of toxic carbon monoxide and turning them green.
Both economic growth and environmental conservation are essential for a country. There is no other way to establish a green economy in Bangladesh to make it suitable for living with development. As we are one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and the environment, it is important to quickly solve the problems by implementing a green economy. Because sustainable development is not possible without a green economy.