Bangladesh's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have increased significantly by 218% between 1990 and 2017 and energy is the leading source of GHG in the country, said a report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group III.
The report, published on 4 April, highlights the current trends of emissions, projected levels of future warming, and the transition to a low carbon economy to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
The IPCC WG3 report states that Bangladesh relies on coal, gas and oil, which make up 77% of the country's energy mix.
Electricity generation in Bangladesh is dependent on fossil fuels, with 79% of electricity generated from natural gas.
In 2020, Bangladesh provided nearly $1.424 billion in subsidies for consumption of electricity, gas and oil.
Rapid increase of natural gas has resulted in the share of renewables in the overall mix decreasing by approximately 8.6% in 2014-2019.
In the long run, continuing to rely on fossil fuels would not be compatible for Bangladesh with the global efforts to reach a 1.5°C pathway.
To achieve 1.5°C, the world must reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 48% by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050, while reducing methane emissions by a third by 2030 and almost halving them by 2050.
Professor Dr AKM Saiful Islam, Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) said, "Despite all our efforts, we are not going to avoid reaching 1.5°C global warming by the next two decades. However, a more rapid, deep, and immediate reduction of GHG of 43% by 2030 including a methane reduction of 34% would stable global warming to 1.5°C by the end of this century after the temporary overshooting."
The report finds that the world's rich countries are the highest emitters of GHG. The countries that emit the least continue to be the most vulnerable to impacts of climate change.
In 2019, the least developed countries are estimated to have produced just 3.3% of global GHG emissions.
Referring to the Paris Agreement, the report says since the agreement, climate change has shot up the agenda of politicians and the media, but it is far from gaining the attention and action climate crisis requires.
The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) announced prior to COP26 would likely lead to 1.5°C increase during the 21st century. With no increased ambitions after 2030, the world might even see global temperatures rise by 2.8 degrees Celsius by 2100, the report warns.
Bangladesh has set an unconditional emissions reduction target of 5% below business as usual by 2030. Conditional on international support, it has an emissions reduction target of 15% below business as usual for the power, transport, and industry sectors.
Professor Dr AKM Saiful Islam, IWFM, BUET said, "There are mitigation options that exist in every sector e.g. energy, land use, industry, cities, urban areas, buildings, and transportation to reduce GHG emissions by at least halves by 2030."
"Limiting global warming below 1.5°C would benefit highly vulnerable countries like Bangladesh by reducing adaptation costs, avoiding irreversible losses and damages as well as achieving its sustainable development goals by 2030," he added.
According to Dr Saleemul Huq, director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, "As the WG3 report completes the three working groups for the IPCC's sixth assessment reports, they collectively present a major game-changing series of reports with the WG1 report showing for the very first time that impacts are now unequivocally attributable to human-induced climate change while WG2 reported clear evidence of the losses and damages caused as a result."