Businesses at a seminar on Monday called upon the government to formulate specific policy and programme on green growth for ensuring sustainable growth of gross domestic product.
They said green growth is a must for the country as the green initiatives ensure better use of natural resources, strengthen the confidence of investors, create market and reduce fiscal burden.
At a seminar ‘A High-Level Dialogue on Green Growth’ organised by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the conference hall of chamber in the capital, they also emphasised renewable energy, water efficiency and air pollution control for achieving growth.
‘The government should come up with policy for green growth considering the climate change issue, otherwise the country would get 1.3 per cent less GDP growth,’ Masrur Reaz, programme manager of International Finance Corporation, said.
He said that Bangladesh had met all the criteria for the graduation to middle-income country from least developed one and the country would have to deal with the challenges of different situation.
Masrur emphasised building awareness on green growth and said that it was great news for Bangladesh that country’s readymade garment factories were going green.
He said that green growth was a must for the creation of more and better jobs, better use of natural resources, creating market for non-traditional products and building confidence of investors.
Masrur emphasised water efficiency saying that it takes 300 litres of water for a kilogram of fabric export and the RMG sector should think about the future availability of underground water when the export of the country would double.
He also said that land acquisition was one of the major challenges to meet the target of renewable energy as the solar power plants take huge area of land.
‘Lack of right policy support is the main challenge for solar revolution in the country,’ Munawar Misbah Moin, managing director of Rahimafrooz, said.
He said that it was the government’s target to generate 10 per cent of total power from alternative renewable sources by 2020 but there was no specific policy to do so.
Munawar said that to meet the target private sector would have to play the key role but the private sector people were yet to jump up to the solar sector due to lack of policy.
Financial institutions are still in hesitation over financing the solar sector, he added.
Fazlul Hoque, managing director of Plummy Fashions, said Bangladesh’s readymade garment sector was now the champion in green initiative.
Mindset of the entrepreneurs is the key problem for going green, he said.
Mohammed Nasir, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that most of the RMG factories had been introducing exhaust gas boiler, waste heat recovery, co-generation, energy efficient technology, energy management system and waste-to-energy boiler.
A total of 67 LEED-certified green factories have been installed in the country while 280 others have been registered with The US Green Building Council for LEED certification, he said.
Nasir also emphasised water efficiency and apprehended that the sector would not get required amount of water for doubling export as the ground water level was going down by two metres every year.
Shwapna Bhowmick, country head of Marks & Spencer (Bangladesh and Myanmar), said that Bangladesh was the biggest sourcing country as well as the slowest sourcing country.
For making the green concept sustainable, Bangladesh should go for high value-added products with short lead time, she said.
MCCI president Nihad Kabir said that Bangladesh would have to reinforce its commitments in the areas of cleaning up air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emission as the country ranked 179 in the environmental performance index out of 180 countries.
‘We need to work around the challenges of green growth…….. With proper planning and execution, many of the desire objectives could and should be achieved,’ she said.
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