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Growth does not have to come at the cost of the environment

  • Published at 07:33 am June 5th, 2018

We must continue to incentivize the use of greener business initiatives

Today is World Environment Day. 

Bangladesh has more than a few environmental challenges and threats that need our immediate attention, but it is a matter of great regret that some very serious concerns get drowned out by short-sightedness in policy, and shallow personal interests.

For Bangladesh, tackling the effects of climate change is especially important: We are one of the countries most susceptible to its detrimental effects, causing widespread damage to land and crops, and forcing people out of their homes. 

And due to negligent practices, practices which still continue, our water and air remain threatened -- some of our major rivers are dying due to the dumping of industrial waste, and our air having hazardous amounts of pollutants on a daily basis leads to serious urban health problems, and death. 

It seems that growth has come at a price -- while we have forged a path forward towards infrastructural development and economic development, we have forgotten to take care of the land we call our home.

But it does not have to be this way.

There is much the world is doing -- and, in fact, we have done ourselves -- which lights the path towards a greener future. 

A good example of this is our RMG sector, which has more green factories than any other country in the world, and it continues to plough ahead, churning out impressive export numbers every year. This is in no small part due to the tax benefits awarded to green RMG factories -- no doubt a worthy initiative. 

Studies have consistently shown that a positive correlation exists between environmental performance and economic performance, and yet, we have not done enough in this regard. We should look to other countries which have become models of development without sacrificing the sanctity of the environment. 

We must continue to incentivize the use of greener business initiatives, such as the taxing of fossil fuels and a stronger focus on green energy such as wind and solar. 

A Bangladesh that breathes easy is a Bangladesh that succeeds.