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ADB boosts 2019-2030 climate financing target to $100b

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The Asian Development Bank’s will boost its climate financing goals by $20 billion to a new target of $100 billion for the 2019-2030 period and aims to launch its concept for retiring coal-fired power plants at the COP26 climate conference in Scotland next month, the lender’s chief said on Tuesday.

The plans, disclosed by ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa in an interview with Reuters, increase a previous $80 billion goal for climate financing for developing countries in Asia for the decade announced in 2018.

“The fight against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific, and we are committed to serving as a climate bank and a long term climate partner for our region,” Asakawa said.

The additional $20 billion in financing support will provide support for climate mitigation efforts including low-carbon energy sources, climate adaptation projects and private sector projects.

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Asakawa said ADB now plans for $66 billion for climate mitigation financing through 2030, including for new energy storage, energy efficiency and low-carbon transportation investments. The Manila-based lender will plan for climate adaptation financing of $34 billion, including agriculture, urban and water adaptation projects.

The bank also plans to boost its private sector operations to attract more private sector capital to finance new climate technologies and innovations, using $12 billion from its balance sheet to attract up to $30 billion in new private capital, due to increased demand for such financing, Asakawa said.

The plans were presented on Tuesday to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who had convened a meeting with multilateral development banks, including ADB and the World Bank, to discuss their efforts to boost climate financing in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

COAL PLANT RETIREMENTS

Asakawa said the group has finished an initial feasibility study and is now embarking on a longer study of the concept in three target countries — Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

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The initial feasibility study provided a framework for the ADB to engage with a broad set of country, regional and global stakeholders to support the transition from coal to clean energy. Asakawa said that interest is growing among other developing countries to join the initiative at a later date.

ADB and its partners, including British insurer Prudential, lenders Citi and HSBC and BlackRock Real Assets, are aiming to complete and launch a pilot investment fund in 2022 and make its initial power plant purchase next year or early 2023.

The concept is not included in the ADB’s overall climate financing goals, because most of the money will come from private investors and donor sources, including philanthropists, Asakawa said.

A study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis estimated that retiring half the coal power plants in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam would require as much as $55 billion in financing, requiring strong support from Southeast Asian governments to attract financing.

The ADB will announce the partnership to design and establish the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) at COP26.

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“Even now, some philanthropists have already shown interest in investing in this new initiative. So we plan to launch the ETM at COP26 in Glasgow,” Asakawa said.

Asakawa added he hopes to be able to present the plans along with Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Philippines Finance Minister Carlos Dominguez.

The most influential and award-winning tech journalist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. President of Bangladesh Tech Journalists umbrella association name Bangladesh ICT Journalist Forum(BIJF).He works for The Daily Ittefaq and is responsible for covering news, editing posts, reviewing devices, producing video reviews, and communicating with the reader base. Journalist, editor, technology, personal technology, reviews, features, analysis, media.

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Environment

5 killed as Cyclone Midhili crosses coast

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At least five people were killed as cyclone Midhili crossed the country today, inundating low-lying areas in many parts of several southern districts.

The cyclone that caused heavy rains disrupted normal life, halted cargo handling in Chattogram port and river transport services across the country.

A special bulletin from the Met office said the cyclonic storm completed crossing the coast at 3:00pm and weakened into a deep depression.

The highest wind speed was recorded in Patuakhali, at 102km per hour, the Met office said.

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In Cox’s Bazar, four of a family died when a mud wall of a house collapsed amid heavy rains early today.

The incident took place around 3:00am in Panirchhara area of Hnila union under Teknaf upazila, said Rashed Mahmud Ali, the local chairman.

The dead are Anwara Begum, 50, her son Shahidul Mostafa, 20, and daughters Nilufa Yasmin, 15, and Sadia Begum, 11, he added.

Locals said incessant rain hit the area since yesterday morning due to a depression in the Bay of Bengal.

The rain weakened the wall and then it collapsed on the victims, they said.

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An elderly man was killed as a tree branch fell on him in front of his house at Moghdhora village in Sandwip upazila in Chattogram around 6:00pm.

The victim is Abdul Ohab, 65, said Shahidul Islam, officer-in-charge of Sandwip Police Station.

In Patuakhali, the agriculture department fears a damage to the Aman crop. At least 5 percent of the total Aman crop is in ripe and another 20 percent in semi-ripe condition.

Patuakhali Agricultural Extension Department (DAE) fears a fourth of the rest 75 percent crop will be damaged badly, as heavy rains caused by the cyclone left many crops lying on the ground.

Some vegetable crops have also been damaged. However, it will take some time to assess the extent of the damage, said Nazrul Islam, deputy director of Patuakhali DAE.

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In Barishal, heavy rainfall caused by Madhili, meaning a huge tree, flooded low-lying areas of the city.

Most of the city roads, including Battala Road and Sadar Road, got inundated following heavy rains since last afternoon.

Earlier, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority suspended operation of all the launches on different routes including Dhaka-Barishal due to the cyclone.

The Chattogram port authorities had also halted loading and unloading activities.

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Bangladesh Receives $858 Million World Bank Financing to Improve Climate Resilient Agriculture Growth and Road Safety

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The government of Bangladesh and the World Bank today signed two financing agreements totaling $858 million to enhance climate-resilient agricultural growth, food security, and improve road safety.

The $500 million Program on Agricultural and Rural Transformation for Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, and Resilience (PARTNER) will help transform the agriculture sector by promoting crop diversification, food safety, and climate resilience across agri-food systems of Bangladesh. 

The Program will support sustainable and nutritious food production through greater efficiency in input use, good agriculture practices, and the promotion of stress-tolerant and nutrient-dense varieties. It will help increase entrepreneurship and access to services by expanding access to digital agricultural services tools, improved food safety processes, and increased female and youth entrepreneurship. It will also help modernize institutions and policies through improved data management, increased research and development activities, and partnerships with global agricultural research institutions and with the private sector.

“Bangladesh has made remarkable development and economic growth since independence.  New frontiers of challenges, like increasing climate change impacts, now call for urgent actions. The World Bank is committed to helping Bangladesh overcome barriers to sustainable and inclusive green growth,” said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan“These two projects will be important to help the country remain on a sustainable growth path through boosting climate-resilient agricultural productivity and enhancing the income of hundreds and thousands of farmers as well as protect the people and the economy from the loss caused by untimely deaths, disabilities, and injuries resulting from road crashes.”

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The $358 million Road Safety Project—which is the first dedicated road safety project in South Asia supported by the World Bank—will help the country improve road safety and reduce deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes in selected high-risk highways and district roads. In two national highways—N4 (Gazipur-Elenga) and N6 (Natore to Nawabganj)—the project will pilot comprehensive road safety measures, including improved engineering designs, signing and marking, pedestrian facilities, speed enforcement, and emergency care.  

It will help modernize the capacity of the Traffic Police and highway patrol to manage speeding and prevent risky road user behavior. To improve post-crash care, it will set up an ambulance service via a toll-free number and upgraded emergency care services in selected district hospitals, and Upazila Health Complexes along the two national highway corridors. 

“These two projects will contribute to the country’s vision of achieving upper-middle income status by 2031,” said Sharifa Khan, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Government of Bangladesh“Our National Agriculture Policy places high priority to ensure nutrition, food security, and climate resilient agriculture and the new Road Transport Act places a substantial focus on road safety. By ensuring food security, empowering farmers, creating opportunities for entrepreneurship as well as improving road safety management and minimizing tragic loss of human lives, these two projects will contribute to sustainable economic growth.”

The agreement was signed by Sharifa Khan and Abdoulaye Seck on behalf of Bangladesh and the World Bank, respectively. 

The credits are from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and have a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period. The PARTNER project will also receive a $43 million co-financing from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

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Bangladesh currently has the largest ongoing IDA program totaling $16.3 billion. The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh and has committed about $40 billion in grants, interest-free and concessional credits to the country since its independence.

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Environment

ESSAB Awards Nine Companies for Fire Safety Implementation

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The Electronics Safety & Security Association of Bangladesh (ESSAB) on Friday night awarded nine buildings and companies for maintaining fire safety properly.

Besides, recognition and financial gifts were distributed among the family members of the thirteen fire fighters who died in a single fire incident while tackling the blaze and explosions at the Sitakundu BM Container Depot in Chattogram.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr. Md. Enamur Rahman handed over gifts among them at the ‘8th International Fire Safety and Security Exhibition (IFSSE) titled, “ESSAB safety excellence award ceremony”  at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital.

The nine awardees are—Concord-Sikander Heritage in residential building; Update tower, AIUB, and Sheltech Northern Star in Commercial Building; Mondol Intimates Limited, SQ Ceisius Ltd, and Vertex RMG Division in Industrial Building (RMG); Picard Bangladesh Ltd, and Berger Becker Ltd. in Industrial Building (Others).

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Speaking the award ceremony, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr. Md. Enamur Rahman said RAJUK and Fire Service and Civil Defense won’t provide licences anyone if fire safety is not maintained in future.

“Now Bangladesh has eight green factories among 10 in the world. As a result, our export volume has gone up. The ESSAB has provided all fire safety equipment to build the green factories here,” he added.

Mentioning the government is setting up 100 economic zones, Enamur urged entrepreneurs to manufacture the equipment and export it meeting local demand as now Bangladesh has to import over 95 percent equipment.

FBCCI vice President Amin Helaly, and Director (training, planning and development) of Dire Service and Civil Defence Lt Col Rezaul Karim spoke there.

Organised by the Electronics Safety & Security Association of Bangladesh (ESSAB) and co-partnered by Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence (BFSCD), the three-day-long expo aims to showcase new firefighting technology and create awareness among people of the country.

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ESSAB President Zahir Uddin Babar gave welcome speech while its Secretary General Mahmudur Rashid, Senior Vice President Niaz Ali Chist, Publicity Secretary Nazrul Islam among others were also present there.

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