In the immediate aftermath of COP 26, the Bangladesh Ministry of Rail, led by His Excellency the Honourable Nurul Islam Sujan, MP and his delegation – in the presence of Her Excellency Saida Muna Tasneem the Bangladesh High Commissioner and UK MPs Greg Smith, and Stephen Hammond – have agreed to take important steps develop the Bangladesh Railway with a patented British technology to deliver lower cost, lower carbon, with cleaner air to deliver a sustainable evolution of the rail system.
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Shiekh Hasina, in an op-ed in October ‘21 in the Financial Times called for a “climate prosperity plan”. The PM said Bangladesh was “committed to leading the path to a solution” to fight climate change “not only because we wish to avert the worst of climate change, it also makes economic sense.” The PM further emphasised “investing in zero-carbon growth is the best way to create jobs across the economy and ensure that our nation becomes more prosperous,” she wrote: “we will enhance resilience, grow our economy, create jobs and expand opportunities for our citizens, using action on climate change as the catalyst,” Hasina wrote of the plan: “we will empower banks to offer favourable terms to fossil fuel-free infrastructure projects, and pursue co-operation with developed nations in areas such as green hydrogen”
Bangladesh expects to double its economy to $409 billion by 2031 and become a middle-income country. “From agriculture to industry or from energy production to reducing carbon emission, the implementation of efficient and greener technology will be the key for development,” she said. “But Bangladesh will need huge investment to deliver this.”
In a historic move, the Minister of Bangladesh Railway and his team engaged G-volution, a British company, to deliver feasibility, to be followed by a pilot project that can revolutionise the entire Bangladesh Transport system. This ‘Tiger from the Bengal’ will now lead the rest of the world in addressing climate change and reducing carbon (and cost) while delivering clean air. Demonstrating leadership on the pathway to net zero.
In the era of post-Brexit, this is an opportunity for the UK government and its Department of International Trade to lead the world in green technology in supporting such project with green finance with the UKEF.
This environmental technological export opportunity can deliver a strong political and economic relationship between Bangladesh and Britain, for the first time in the lifetime of this young nation. The British team and their delegation at the invitation of the Bangladesh Railway Minister will be visiting Bangladesh in January to complete a feasibility study with the intention of converting the entire fleet to lower carbon technology, delivering lower running costs and cleaner air, sustainably.