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Dhaka Tribune

Climate Strike: Bangladeshi students ask for promoting renewable energy

Stakeholders asked to stop working on expansion of Matarbari coal-fired power plant

Update : 25 Mar 2022, 09:34 PM

Climate activists have called on the government and the investors to put a stop to engaging in environmentally-detrimental activities and prioritizing fossil fuels in the country. 

Future Bangladesh and Youthnet for Climate Justice on Friday also made a demand for fostering renewable energy for a better, livable world. 

They made the call at a rally held in front of the National Press Club in the capital as part of the global climate strike organized by the worldwide school student movement “Fridays for the Future” to reduce global carbon emissions and claim compensation from historically responsible nations.

They called on critical stakeholders to stop a probable expansion of the Matarbari coal power plant, also known as Matarbari Phase 2, highlighting repercussions of importing costly fossil fuels which is a heavy financial burden for the country, increasing the share of renewable energy in the new power sector master plan which will enable just transitions. 

The activists demanded justice for climate change and urged developed nations to formulate and implement a fast-track strategy for delivering compensation to the climate-vulnerable countries and provide funds for adaptation action on a priority basis. 

This year, the global climate strike was held simultaneously in 25 districts of Bangladesh – Dhaka, Gopalganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Tangail, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Feni, Noakhali, Bandarban, Barisal, Jhalokati, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barguna, Sylhet, Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Khulna, Satkhira, Jessore, Bagerhat, Narail, Mymensingh, Netrokona, Gaibandha. 

"Even after committing to putting an end to overseas coal finance, Japan is considering financing Matarbari coal power project phase 2,” said Sohanur Rahman, the executive coordinator of Youthnet for Climate Justice, at the event in Dhaka.

“They should stop funding coal and keep their promise. We demand increasing the share of renewable energy in Bangladesh, not coal, not other fossil fuels,” he added.

“We demand justice and a sense of responsibility instead of sympathy or compensation. Accelerating climate activities, adaptation or resilience-building may seem difficult, but it is vital,” he said. 

Youths at the strike urged the developed countries and international banks and other financiers to stop investing in fossil fuel-dependent electricity generation to lower carbon emissions saying that these nations and corporations have long been providing false commitments to lowering carbon emissions.

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