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

Emissions profile

Last updated: August 2021

Since 1993 Bangladesh has steadily increased its total emissions, with an increase of over 30% since 2011 (excluding LULUCF). The energy sector is the single largest source of CO2 emissions. Emissions from the agriculture and waste sectors were 44% in 2017, and primarily consisted of CH4, and N2O. Bangladesh’s agricultural emissions are mainly from rice cultivation, digestive processes of animals, manure, and poultry litter management.6 Emissions from agriculture accounted for 28% of total emissions in 2018 which is an improvement from the 2011, which was 35%. The decline is primarily due to the decline in GDP share of agriculture from 17% to 13% during this period.7

Bangladesh’s power sectors accounts for half of total energy-related CO2 emissions. Natural gas is the major fuel used in electricity generation in Bangladesh accounts for 75% of generation, and despite continued emphasis from the country on renewable energy use, the share natural gas in its power sector has increased steadily.8

Uncertainities remain around Bangladesh’s LULUCF emissions. However, its third national communications reported the sector as a source of emissions in 2012, contributing to around 5% of total GHG emsisions in that year.9

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. Energyworld.com. (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. http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/GL (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.

Bangladeshʼs current GHG emissions

MtCO₂e/yr

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Displayed values

By sector

  • Power
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Transport
  • Buildings
  • Other
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Agriculture
  • Waste
  • Industry (processes)
  • LULUCF
Energy (55%)0

By greenhouse gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other
00

Sectors by greenhouse gas

Energy
098%0
Agriculture
076%0
Industry (processes)
099%0

Energy system

Bangladesh’s primary energy is dominated by natural gas, accounting for 55% of total supply. Natural gas contributed to around 75% of electricity generation in 2018. While coal currently has an insignificant share of power energy mix generation (less than 1%), in 2021 Bangladesh scrapped 90% of its planned coal expansion.10 This was driven by the rising costs of coal import and increased price per generation unit.1,2 This is the right step forward, as increasing coal capacity puts the country at risk to lock itself on a carbon intensive pathway with high costs and the potential for stranded assets.

Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in South Asia and aspires to be a developed country by 2041.11 As energy and electricity play a key role in sustained economic growth and infrastructure development, this will increase future energy and electricity demand significantly. A strengthened policy framework will be necessary to achieve transformational change in the energy sector by abandoning fossil fuels.

Bangladesh is very vulnerable to climate change, as it is repeatedly hit by extreme weather events like cyclones which severely damage energy infrastructure. A diversified, decentralised, and climate-resilient power system could reduce the negative impacts of climate change on power sector. Bangladesh has the largest off-grid solar power programme in the world, which enables 20 million homes (16% of rural population) access to electricity.12

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

Last updated: August 2021

Unconditional NDC Target:

  • 5% below BAU levels by 2030. Bangladesh NDC covers only the power, transport and industry sectors.13

Conditional NDC Target:

  • 15% below BAU by 2030. Bangladesh NDC covers only the power, transport and industry sectors.13
  • Additional measures (see sectoral targets)

Estimated 2030 conditional NDC target:

  • 267 MtCO2e/yr by 2030 or 115% above 2011 levels.26

Sector coverage

PowerTransportIndustry

Greenhouse gas coverage

CO₂CH₄PFCsNF₃HFCsN₂OSF₆

Sectoral targets

Power

  • 100% of new coal-based power plants to use super-critical technology by 2030.
  • 0.400 GW of wind capacity installed by 2030.
  • 1 GW of utility-scale solar power installed by 2030.
  • 40% renewable energy target in the power mix by 2041.3

Buildings

  • A 70% market share of improved biomass cookstoves, to reach 20 million households in 2030.
  • 40% market share of improved gas cookstoves by 2030.
  • 10% market switch from biomass to LPG for cooking compared to the business as usual by 2030.
  • 25% reduction of overall energy consumption of the commercial sector compared to the business as usual by 2030.

  • Up to around a 20% shift in passenger traffic from road to rail by 2030, compared to the business as usual.
  • 15% improvement in the efficiency of vehicles due to more efficient running by 2030.

Industry

  • 10% energy consumption reduction in the industry sector compared to the business as usual by 2030.

  • 50% of the managed waste fraction is diverted from landfill to composting by 2030
  • 70% of landfill gas captured and used for electricity generation by 2030

  • 50% of the managed waste fraction is diverted from landfill to composting by 2030
  • 70% of landfill gas captured and used for electricity generation by 2030

Footnotes