Although Bangladesh is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, it is not itself a significant emitter of carbon dioxide. Bangladesh currently produces less that 0.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If all Phulbari coal were used to produce electricity, it would still only contribute less than 0.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, compared to the USA and China, which each currently account for around 20% of global emissions. The average US citizen consumes around 80 times as much electricity as the average Bangladeshi. Over time, Bangladesh may be able to broaden the sources of its electricity, but in the short term domestic coal provides the lowest risk, technically proven and most viable way of addressing the country’s energy needs.
Bangladesh currently imports around five million tonnes of low quality, high sulphur coal which is used principally in the brick industry. The replacement of this coal with the higher quality coal from Phulbari will significantly improve the air quality across the whole country.
The medium term focus of the Government's climate change strategy is to adapt to the effects of climate change, a challenging task that will benefit from a strong and growing economy.