The existing mindset for investing in development initiatives needs to be changed into 'green' as it can be economically progressive, speakers at a conference have opined.
The daylong Green Development Conference 2016 was organised at the Daily Star Centre by NeoSTAR Innovation in association with Dhaka Bank, Rahimafrooz, NCC Bank, IFIC Bank and SIBL.
The speakers further stressed that in the face of climate change threat, it is crucial to have combined efforts from all stakeholders investing in green development.
In the opening session, they emphasised on “right policy, effective technologies and easy access to fund” and said that all these had the potential to bring about the real impact on “green growth at all levels”.
While addressing the various environmental issues, CEO at NeoSTAR Innovation Edward Apurba Singha said: “A strong collaboration between the government, green entrepreneurs, technology providers and banks is indispensable.”
“Bangladesh has the most potential to use alternative sources of power as we have sunlight and wind, and a huge consumer population,” said Dr Saiful Huque, director of Dhaka University Institute of Energy.
He further said: “Now people have solar culture. What we need is to work together and spread awareness of what we have achieved in this field so far.”
He also stressed on collaborative effort to turn to sustainable source of power and minimise the knowledge gap among the stakeholders.
Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and CEO of Dhaka Bank Limited, said: “Despite having insignificant share in global CO2 emissions, a country like Bangladesh is the most climate change vulnerable country. But we do not get much attention from the global leaders.”
“The good thing today is that 'the green business' is here to stay as it has significant potentials,” said Managing Director of Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Limited Munwar Misbah Moin.
He mentioned: “Policy, business model and financing are needed to be combined together. Though the efforts have started already, the pace is very slow.”
“Green development is a new opportunity for us that should be looked at from a new perspective. We cannot look at it with a conventional mindset. The moment we do that, the business opportunity is lost. Technologies are the key drivers in the green business,” he added.
Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mikael Hemniti Winther, who was the chief guest of the conference, commented: “We should be ambitious of becoming fossil fuel free country by 2050.”
Taking the example of Denmark as a fossil fuel free nation, he said: “It was due to a reaction to external factors that Denmark turned into green. We have a very strong partnership between private and public sectors who researched to come up with new environment friendly solutions.”
Denmark is now using more than 50% renewable energy with 8% increase in GDP, he added.
He also said: “It is about changing the mindset in doing business without posing threats to the environment. It is easy to do business without harming the environment and looking after the environment is actually a good business.”