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Reduction of CO2 and GHG emission from different sectors of Urban Areas of Bangladesh



Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries of the world which is predicted to suffer most by the unpleasant outcomes of climate change though it has minute contribution to vulnerability compared to other developed countries. In order to bring climate change to a halt, it is imperative to reduce CO2 and as well as greenhouse gas emissions significantly. This proposal has suggested practical actions for urban areas of Bangladesh, especially for Dhaka which is the Capital of Bangladesh and the world’s second vulnerable city to live in. These proposed strategies are for residential, commercial, industrial, transportation and power sectors of urban areas and they have been proposed considering all possible stakeholders as well as socio-economic and political situations of Bangladesh. 

Category of the action

Urban adaptation

What actions do you propose?

In order to develop and screen greenhouse gas reduction strategy options, an Advisory Panel of stakeholders has to be selected; members included representatives from Division agencies, utilities, the legislature, industry, regulators, industrial development, and environment firms. Some points should be kept in mind as Benefit Area before taking actions:

1) Mitigation of GHG Emissions

2) Political Feasibility

3) Institutional Acceptability

4) Administrative Ease in Implementation (Herz and et. al.; 1997).


Action 1: Reduction of CO2 Emissions from Residential and Commercial Sectors

Greenhouse gas emissions from these sectors come from fossil fuel combustion for heating and cooking needs, management of waste and wastewater, and leaks from refrigerants in homes and businesses. Bangladesh is an energy-inefficient country. If we raise the efficiency with which we produce and consume energy, we will be able to increase energy supply while lowering carbon emission. This could allow us to lower carbon emissions without jeopardizing energy security and growth. Energy efficiency means using less energy to provide the same service. It is a key to substantial CO2 reduction and thus an important policy target for all urban areas.

Improving the insulation of buildings; using more energy-efficient heating, cooling, ventilation and refrigeration systems; efficient fluorescent lighting and electric fan; improved cooking stove and using metered gas; passive heating and lighting to take advantage of sunlight; and the purchase of energy-efficient appliances and electronics are the ways to reduce energy consumption and thus CO2 emissions. Moreover, reducing solid waste sent to landfills,capturing and using methane produced in current landfills is effective to solid waste management and thus reduction of CO2 emissions.


Action 2: Reduction of CO2 Emissions from Industrial Sectors

The greenhouse gases emitted during industrial production are split into two categories: direct emissions that are produced at the facility, and indirect emissions that occur off site, but are associated with the facility's use of energy. Direct emissions are produced by burning fuel for power or heat, through chemical reactions, and from leaks from industrial processes or equipments. Most direct emissions come from the consumption of fossil fuels for energy. Indirect emissions are produced by burning fossil fuel at power plants to produce electricity, which is then used by an industrial facility to power industrial buildings and machineries.

Following actions can be taken to reduce CO2 emissions from industrial sectors:

·         Using energy efficient furnace, steam boiler and motor.

·         Switching to fuels that result in less CO2 emissions but the same amount of energy, when combusted. Using natural gas instead of coal to run machinery is the solution.

·         Producing industrial products from materials that are recycled or renewable, rather than producing new products from raw materials. Using scrap steel and scrap aluminum as opposed to smelting new aluminum or forging new steel cause less CO2 emissions.

·         Making companies and workers aware of the steps to reduce or prevent emission leaks from equipments.


Action 3: Reduction of CO2 Emissions from Transportation Sectors

CO2 emissions from transportation sector results from the combustion of petroleum-based products, like gasoline, in internal combustion engines. The largest sources of emissions include passenger cars and light-duty trucks, including sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and minivans. These sources account for over half of the emissions. The remainder comes from other modes of transportation, including freight trucks, commercial aircrafts, ships, boats, and trains as well as pipelines and lubricants.


Following actions can be taken to reduce CO2 emissions from transportation sector:

·         Using public buses that are fueled by compressed natural gas rather than gasoline or diesel.

·         Using electric or hybrid automobiles provided that the energy is generated from lower-carbon or non-fossil fuels.

·         Using renewable fuels such as low-carbon biofuels.

·         Developing advanced vehicle technologies such as hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles that can store energy from braking and use it for power later.

·         Reducing the weight of materials used to build vehicles.

·         Reducing the aerodynamic resistance of vehicles through better shape design.

·         Building public transportation, sidewalks, and bike paths to increase lower-emission transportation choices.

·         Zoning for mixed use areas, so that residences, schools, stores, and businesses are close together, reducing the need for driving.

·         Promote environmentally friendly commuting. Establish carpool initiatives for employees. When two people carpool just 20 miles per day, they can save 500 gallons of fuel annually. Provide mass transit passes for employees. Reward hybrid car owners with preferred parking. Use shared vehicles instead of purchasing them. Car sharing services like ZipCar are inexpensive and convenient and feature efficient transportation choices.

·         Fuel taxes can be obliged on automobile.

·         Measures to improve road traffic flow.


Traffic demand management

·         Improvement of road traffic flow

·         Switch in transport modes

·         Alternative fuels and technologies


Others measures:

·         Voluntary agreements

·         Graduated Vehicle Excise Duty

·         Company Car Taxation

·         Power Shift Program

·         Energy Efficiency Best Practice Program (OECD, 2012).


Action 4: Reduction of CO2 Emissions from Power Sectors

Carbon dioxide (CO2) makes up the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions from this sector, but smaller amounts of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are also emitted. These gases are released during the combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas to produce electricity.


Following actions can be taken to reduce CO2 emissions from power sectors:

·         Converting a conventional coal-powered steam turbine into an advanced turbine that uses pulverized coal.

·         Converting a coal-powered turbine into a natural gas-powered turbine.

·         Converting a single-cycle turbine into a combined-cycle turbine.

·         Using renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuel to generate electricity. Increasing the share of total electricity generated from wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal sources and from certain biofuel sources.

·         Building nuclear power plants as fossil fuel power plants are retired.

·         Reducing energy demand by increasing efficiency and conservation in homes, businesses, and industry. Reducing personal energy use by turning off lights and electronics when not in use reduces electricity demand.

·         Energy efficiency audits in all sectors.

·         Waste Reduction and recycling (Herz and et. al.; 1997).

·         Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration: Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and sequestration (CCS) is a set of technologies that can greatly reduce CO2 emissions from new and existing coal- and gas-fired power plants and large industrial sources. CCS is a three-step process that includes:

  • Capture of CO2 from power plants or industrial processes.
  • Transport of the captured and compressed CO2 (usually by pipelines).
  • Underground injection and geologic sequestration (also referred to as storage) of the CO2 into deep underground rock formations. These formations are often a mile or more beneath the surface and consist of porous rock that holds the CO2. Overlying these formations are impermeable, non-porous layers of rock that trap the CO2 and prevent it from migrating upward.


Action 5: Reduction of CO2 Emissions by Imposing Tax on Emissions

Tax allows the producers to find least cost or cost effective way of reducing pollution.Tax on carbon gives signal to producers and consumers about which goods and services produce more carbon and which produce less or none. Therefore, consumers and producers can plan to shift from high-carbon products and technologies to low-carbon products and technologies.

Action 6: Introducing Green Buildings

In Dhaka City, where there is little space of doing something that can contribute in changing the situation, Green Building projects can be very effective adaptation strtegy. Green Buildings can only not be built in vacant lands, but also the existing buildings can be transformed into sustainable buildings. Green Buildings can reduce up to 40% of Carbon dioxide emission and 50% of overall energy consumption (USEPA, 2012).

Action 7: Capacity Building

People as well as government in every sector should be aware of the consequences of climate change. Before taking a large scale project, the long term impacts should be properly judged. This analysis is very rear in Bangladesh. Large scale power stations, nuclear- power plants and chemical industries are taken in most vulnerable lands even being informed about the harmful impacts. So, technical analysis of economic and environmental impacts of climate change should be incorporated. The analysis should establish a bottom-up computation methodology and provide realistic assessment based on scientific analysis to government agencies, NGOs and civil societies. This analysis can be conducted by local consultants, universities and experts in Bangladesh. The analytical works can take place in two levels: national and global level-

·         In national level, the findings and suggestions will be presented at multiple workshops with stakeholders, environmentalists, planners and policy makers at every level.

·         In global level, the findings, suggestions and alternatives will be presented through workshops organized by the Climate Change Group or by other organizations at international conferences on climate change.

Action 8: Community Based Adaptation (CBA)

This program is generally applied in vulnerable areas but it can also be applied to other communities suspected to be affected in future. CBA identifies environmental degradations, poor governance, violation of environment rules and resources which in under risk by communities. It will incorporate community based development focusing on risk reduction. It can be a program of raising awareness of community people by video, drama, multimedia, intermediate technology, art and storytelling or can be more action oriented by installing or improving infrastructures in the community.

Action 9: Disaster Management Plans

The urban areas of Bangladesh is mostly vulnerable due to landslides and urban flooding, lower level of ground water table, pollution etc. The urban areas need well-conceived Disaster Management Plans to reduce risks and to have immediate responses in case of disaster. The plan should incorporate the existing and future plans including the growth of the city. Professionals, technical, engineers, sociologists and environmentalists should work together while making these plans. Political commitment, funding, professional capacity and public participation must be ensured. This can be a major challenge for the effectiveness of the adaptation of climate change. 

Who will take these actions?

The government and non-governmental organizations of Bangladesh have a key role to play. A National Steering Committee on Climate Change can be established to coordinate and facilitate the actions. It will be chaired by the Special Assistant to the Chief Adviser and will comprise the Secretaries of all climate-affected Ministries and Divisions and representatives of civil society and the business community. It will report to the National Environment Committee, chaired by the Chief Adviser. The National Environment Committee and the National Steering Committee on Climate Change will also provide guidance on international climate change negotiations, including bilateral, multilateral and regional programs for collaboration, research, exchange of information and development. A Climate Change Secretariat will be set up in the Ministry of Environment and Forests to support the National Steering Committee on Climate Change. It will work with climate change cells in all ministries. Non-government organizations can raise public awareness in urban areas by organizing conferences. Other key actors who can help in low carbon development in urban areas are: Ministry of Power & Energy, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Finance, Universities and Research Organizations, Ministry of Local Government and Private Entrepreneurs.


Where will these actions be taken?

These actions will be taken in Dhaka which is the Capital of Bangladesh, a South-Asian country. Moreover, other urban areas of Bangladesh can be brought under these actions to ensure urban resilience. The following table shows amount of GHG emission in Dhaka in 2010 and the estimated amount which will be emitted in 2030: 

The following figures show the unlivable vulnerable condition of Dhaka city:



What are other key benefits?

Taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions yields important benefits. Lower emissions of greenhouse gases will reduce risk to human health and welfare and there will be less global warming and climate change.

Public transportation saves fuel, reduces an individual’s carbon footprint and reduces congestion. It provides an immediate option individuals can take to reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

In industrial sector, the workability and efficiency of labors will be increased. And if the production and maintenance are considered, there is improvement in product quality. Reduction in emission and waste material will yield lower engineering control. Reduction in capital expenditure will be considered as economic benefit.

Introducing green buildings in urban areas will contribute to environmental, economic and social benefits by increasing energy efficiency, reducing operating cost, improving occupant’s productivity and overall quality of life. 



What are the proposal’s costs?

Randall (n.d.) has measured costs for some particular actions. The following figure shows that:

Time line

Stage 1:

Calculate the amount of C02 emissions in Dhaka City from secondary sources

Duration: 2-4 weeks

Stage 2:

Identify the consequences of CO2 emissions and their impacts on climate change

Duration: 2 weeks

Stage 3

Determine strategies to mitigate the impacts on residential, commercial, industrial, transportation and power sectors

Duration: 5-6 weeks

Stage 4

Estimation of costs

Duration: 6-8 weeks

Stage 5

Capacity building in public and private sectors and formulation of management framework

Duration: 1 year

Stage 6

Implementation of the actions

Duration: 2-3 years

Stage 7

Review and monitoring

Duration: continuous process

Related proposals



EPA. (2014). Retrieved July 17, 2014, from Overview of Greenhouse Gases:

Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. (2009). Retrieved July 17, 2014, from Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009:

Dashgupta, P. S. (2012). Urban Flooding of Greater Dhaka Area in a Changing Cmilate: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Potential Costs. Dhaka.

Randall S. (n.d.). Top-down Assessment of Air Pollution and GHGs for Dhaka, Bangladesh: Analysis of GAINS Derived Model Data Retrieved July 18, 2014 from

Satterthwaite, D. H. (n.d.). Adapting to Climate Change in Urban Areas. IIED Publications, 60-120.

USEPA. (2012). Green Building. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Retrieved July 14, 2014

Herz, W. J., Griffin, R. A., & Gunther, W. D. (1997). Policy Planning to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Alabama . Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama.

Organization For Economic Co-operation And Development (OECD). (2002). Strategies to Reduce Green House Gas Emissions from Road Transport: Analytical method. Paris.