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What is Bangladeshʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Last update: August 2021

Ambition gap

Bangladeshʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

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Displayed values
Reference year
Net zero GHG excl. LULUCF*
Reference year
1.5°C emissions level
NDC (conditional)
NDC (unconditional)
Ambition gap
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions

*Net zero emissions excl LULUCF is achieved through deployment of BECCS; other novel CDR is not included in these pathways


In its updated 2020 NDC, Bangladesh reiterates its pledges stated in its 2015 NDC of an unconditional emissions reduction of 5% below business as usual (BAU) levels, and a conditional contribution of 15% below BAU by 2030. The NDC covers only the power, transport and industry sectors.

1 Gerretsen, I. Bangladesh scraps nine coal power plants as overseas finance dries up. Climate Home News. (2021).

2 Reuters. Bangladesh looks to cut future coal use as costs rise, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld. (2020).

3 Dhaka Tribune. State Minister: 40% of Bangladesh’s power will come from renewables by 2041 | Dhaka Tribune. (2021).

4 Ministry of Environment and Forests, G. of B. Second national Communication of Bangladesh to UNFCCC. (2012).

5 FAOSTAT. Land use Total Data Bangladesh. (2021).

6 USAID. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector Bangladesh. (2012).

7 Statista. Bangladesh – share of economic sectors in the gross domestic product 2019. (2020).

8 Governement of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Year Book-Chapter 6 Energy. (2019).

9 Ministry of Environment, F. and C. C. of B. Third National Communication of Bangladesh to UNFCCC. (2018).

10 International Trade Administration. Bangladesh – Power and Energy. (2020).

11 Bangladesh Planning Commission. Making Vision 2041 a Reality PERSPECTIVE PLAN OF BANGLADESH 2021-2041 (2020).

12 Cabraal, A., Ward, W. A., Bogach, V. S. & Jain, A. Living in the light: The Bangladesh solar home systems story. (2021).

13 Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC)- Bangladesh. (2015).

14 IEA. Bangladesh – Countries & Regions. (2019).

15 Worldometer. Bangladesh Natural Gas Reserves, Production and Consumption Statistics. (2017).

16 SAARC. SAARC Energy Outlook 2030. (2018).

17 IEA. World Energy Balances 2019 (OECD and Selected Emerging Economies). (2019).

18 Huda, A. S. N., Mekhilef, S. & Ahsan, A. Biomass energy in Bangladesh: Current status and prospects. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 30, 504–517 (2014).

19 Khan, M. S. et al. Prospect Of Biofuel In Bangladesh: Bioethanol And Biodiesel Production At Local Condition. in oint Conference International Conference on Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology & International Conference on Ecology and Ecosystems (2017).

20 Rouf, M. A. & Haque, M. N. Role of Renewable Energy (Biogas and Improved Cook Stoves) for Creation of Green Jobs in Bangladesh. (2008).

21 Fisher, M. Introduction of Nuclear Power in Bangladesh Underway with IAEA Assistance. (2018).

22 Climate Analytics. Decarbonising South and South East Asia: Shifting energy supply in South Asia and South East Asia to non-fossil fuel-based energy systems in line with the Paris Agreement long-term temperature goal and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. (2019).

23 BP. Statistical Review of World Energy 2020. (2020).

24 Ministry of Power, E. and M. R. Power System Master Plan. (2016).

25 Timilsina, G. R., Pargal, S., Tsigas, M. & Sahin, S. How Much Would Bangladesh Gain from the Removal of Subsidies on Electricity and Natural Gas? (2018)..

26 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for countries, they underestimate the feasible space for developed countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches.

We estimate that Bangladesh’s conditional NDC translates into a level of emissions of 267 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 or 115% above 2011 levels, excluding its land sector.

With sufficient international support Bangladesh will be able to implement its 1.5°C domestic emissions pathway requiring emissions levels of 82-114 MtCO₂e/yr or 8-30% below 2011 levels by 2030 excluding LULUCF.

Long-term 1.5°C compatible pathways show that Bangladesh could achieve GHG emissions reductions of about 56-74% below 2011 by 2050, or 32-54 MtCO₂e/yr excluding LULUCF.26

On the road to net zero, the country would need to balance its remaining emissions, mostly coming from agriculture and waste through the deployment of carbon dioxide removal approaches, either from the land sector, or technological options such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

The country will need to implement stringent policies to reduce its LULUCF emissions which were a source of emissions in 2012 to further contribute to negative emissions.4,5


Key power sector benchmarks

Renewables shares and year of zero emissions power Including the use of BECCS

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1.5°C aligned targets
Current targets

In 2021, Bangladesh scrapped 90% of its planned coal expansion because of the rising costs of coal imports and increased price per generation unit, including cancelling plans to build ten coal-fired power plants.1,2 However, Bangladesh is substituting its previous expansion coal plans with gas instead of renewable energy.

1.5°C compatible pathways show that the power sector would need to fully decarbonise by around 2040. This would be driven by a phase out of natural gas by 2040 and an increased share of renewable energy – from 2% in 2017 to 24-36% by 2030 and 88-99% by 2040. This stands in contrast with the country’s plans to increase renewables based power generation to only 40% by 2041]