Hundreds of Bangladeshi youngsters demanded an end to global fossil financing on Friday and an increase in contributions to renewable energy.
Demonstrators protested in the nation’s capital of Dhaka and other cities under the Fridays for Future global theme to show solidarity with Global Climate Strike — a school student-run movement founded by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg held annually for the last five years on March 3.
Youngsters from 30 Bangladeshi youth organizations attended the demonstrations.
They said fossil financers from the Global North are the cause of the climate crisis, neocolonial exploitation, wars and human rights violations.
Activist Mahabul Alam Tamim, founder of environmental rights group SEECTO Bangladesh in eastern Comilla, joined the protest in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka.
“Western countries tend to highlight small contributions of most vulnerable countries like Bangladesh as to how these nations contribute to global warming but in reality, they are seen unaware of their major contribution to climate change and finance to fossil fuel,” he told Anadolu as he criticized the role of global leaders.
He demanded a gradual switch to renewable energy and increase research and study to explore ways to meet Bangladesh’s goal of being a clean energy-dependent country.
Participants criticized developed countries and institutions for continuously making false promises to reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change. Developed countries must adhere to the Paris climate agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 Celsius, they said, and multinational corporations must take initiatives to reduce carbon emissions without investing in the fossil fuel businesses.
Climate activists criticized those involved in Bangladesh’s ongoing power crisis, citing the harmful and price-unsustainable fossil fuel LNG imports.
The chairman of the environmental science department at Stamford University in Bangladesh, Ahmad Kamruzzaman Majumder, also participated.
He told Anadolu that clean or renewable energy hardly contributes 1% to the national demand for power.
“We demand a clean-energy-dependent country but our national plans are not saying so. The government targets to produce 75,000MW electricity by 2041 where it plans to produce less than 30,000 in renewable energy — which is a contradiction,” he said.
Bangladesh is affected by climate change and is not bound to reduce carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement. It is the seventh-most climate change-vulnerable country, according to the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2021.
Source: Anadolu Agency