Dhaka, 29th October 2016. Today twenty four labor, farmers and civil organizations organized a rally in front of national press club called for to reconsider the Bangladesh plan to increase coal dependency of present 4 % to 30 % in 2020 for energy is suicidal, they urged government to redirect present energy subsidy of $ 13 million toward renewable energy rather giving it to private companies for rental power plants. These civil society rights groups observing global month of “Reclaim Power 2016: Transforming to Renewable Energy and to Stop Climate Crisis”. The organizations are, On Line Knowledge Society, Aropon, Uddipan, Udayan Bangladesh, Unnayan Dhara Trust, SDO, COAST,EquityBD, JatiyaKishaniSromikSomiti, Jatiya Sromik Jote, Dak Die Jai, Dacop, Dwip Unnayan Sangsta, Nolcity Model Society, Pirojpur Gono Unnayan Somity, Prantajon, PSI Bangladesh, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Bumihin Somiti, Bangladesh Agriculture Farm Federation, Labor Resource Centre, Sangkapla Trust and CDP. The rally was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akhanda of COAST. Speakers of the rally were, Subal Das of Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Syed Amiul Haque of EquityBD and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD.
The group in their position paper, give eight proposal in this regard to the government, which are (i) 63 % of grid power deepened on gas supply, the gas reserve will be depleted by the year 2023, so from now government must explore new source of energy especially in renewable energy, (ii) government must reconsider its plan of present 4 % dependency on coal to generate power and up to 30 % by 2020, as it will be suicidal for environment, (iii) 30 % of gird power production is dependent on fossil fuel, which costing subsidy around $ 13 million, the subsidy must redirect to renewable energy, (iv) government committed to go for 1.5 C for global temperature, so government must go for de-carbonization in energy sector, (v) government must invest to produce power / energy from cow dunk, jute stick, urban waste, paddy waste and rice barn etc., (vi) Government must ban transparent and energy bulb and promote led bulb, (vii) government must ensure that all the building construction must following building codes, so that there are enough space for natural light and wind, (vii) there must be a condition of 20 % renewable or solar energy source in all building construction, and (viii) there are potentialities to produce per square meter 4 to 6 KW of electricity from solar power, so government must invest or provide subsidy in this regard like India.
Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD said, government claim success of solar home installation, but there are hardly any government subsidies, this has happened due to people interest, he said that government annual subsidy of $ 13 million targeted toward rich people indeed. Subal Sarkar of Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity mentioned that, if government will go for Rampal coal based power plant causing Sundarban the world heritage then it will tarnish national image and hamper climate finance from abroad. Mostafa Kamal Akhanda of COAST said that World Bank maintain double standard, while they promise for clean energy but they are financing coal based power plant in Rampal. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD said that, government consults their energy policy with people.