Bangladesh : NGOs mobilise to stop Rampal coal-fired powerplant

The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) joins movements and communities in Bangladesh in their struggle to stop the Rampal coal-fired power-plant from being built.The United Nations has also requested Bangladesh to stop construction.The proposed Rampal coal-fired power plant is located just 14 kilometres north of the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In a statement issued today they said: We urge  President Abdul Hamid  and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to desist from  the construction of a project that will not only endanger the lives of the communities near the proposed power facility but will also contribute to the climate crisis and deepen Bangladesh’s vulnerability to the effects  of climate change

The coal project will destroy a living and natural protective fence that helps shield communities from the worst impacts of seasonal typhoons, which are now more extreme because of climate change. The Sundarbans mangrove forest also provides various means of livelihood to more than half a million local inhabitants.

The APMDD also calls on the Export-Import Bank of India to abandon its plan to loan USD1.6 billion to the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), which is in joint venture with India’s National Thermal Power Company (NTPC) through the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Ltd (BIFPCL).

APMDD emphatically asserts that coal – a dirty and destructive energy source – is not the answer to the peoples’ and communities’ energy needs for sustainable, just and equitable economic development. 

We call on Bangladesh and all countries to shift from fossil fuels to renewable and clean energy sources such as wind and solar.  We call on the those most responsible for climate change – rich industrialized countries – to fulfill their international obligations to mobilize climate finance to enable countries like Bangladesh to make a swift and just transition to sustainable and democratic energy systems.

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