Solar system powering a groundwater pump

Core area “Climate and energy, just transition” Ensuring an environmentally friendly but cost-effective power supply

Germany is supporting Bangladesh in its efforts to reform the energy sector. Particular goals are to improve the energy supply in rural areas that are not yet connected up to the national electricity grid and to promote renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. A further goal is sustainable urban development.

As industrial production in Bangladesh rises, the country's energy crisis is becoming more acute. Because demand outstrips generating capacity, there are frequent power cuts, the overstretched and outdated infrastructure is putting a brake on economic development. At the same time, however, Bangladesh has made a commitment under the Paris Agreement to curb its carbon emissions. To fulfil that commitment, Bangladesh intends to scale up the use of renewable energies, and plans to modernise and extend its power supply infrastructure accordingly.

The BMZ is supporting, for example, domestic biogas installations and solar-powered pumps for agricultural irrigation. Another focus of Germany’s activities is investment in improving the electricity network and avoiding transmission losses.

As part of the global “Energising Development” (EnDev) programme, Germany is also supporting improvements in energy efficiency, for example by fostering the use of energy-efficient stoves. The stoves are being manufactured and marketed by local companies in Bangladesh. As a result of the programme, not only do more than 5.4 million people now have access to energy-efficient and healthy cooking techniques, but more than 2.7 million people have also been provided with electricity generated by solar power systems.

Climate and sustainable urban development

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In its Global Climate Risk Index 2021 (External link), the development and environment organisation Germanwatch ranks Bangladesh seventh out of the countries that are most affected by climate change in the long run. Some 30 per cent of the country’s surface area could be permanently flooded in the near future because of rising sea levels and the country’s low elevation above sea level. In addition, flooding and erosion are threatening agricultural and residential areas. This brings enormous socioeconomic challenges for one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

There are concerns that more than 20 million people in Bangladesh will be displaced by the consequences of climate change by 2050. Most of the people who are displaced will be moving to cities where they will still be exposed to the risks of climate change. Especially informal urban settlements are very much at risk of flooding.

Against this backdrop, Germany is helping the Bangladesh government to take climate risks into greater account in its development and investment planning. The Bangladesh government is also receiving help to build capacities to coordinate the financing of relevant measures and to apply for funding from international assistance programmes.

As part of one of Germany's financial cooperation measures, selected towns and cities are receiving support in preparing for climate change, also so that they can offer the people living there decent economic and social prospects. Thus, these towns and cities are receiving help with the construction of secure roads by which key public buildings such as hospitals and schools can still be reached during floods or storms. In addition, Germany is investing in the paving of access roads in urban slum areas and in improved drinking water supply and sewage disposal systems. Germany is also supporting activities under its Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme to lessen the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.