United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Bangladesh

Remarks by Mr. Md. Mustafizur Rahman, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh
5th OWG–SDGs: on ENERGY
New York, 27 November 2013

Thank you, Mr. Co-Chair.
Bangladesh would associate itself with the statement made by Fiji, on behalf of G 77 and China [and Benin on behalf of the LDCs.]
We heard two distinguished Panelists yesterday. Their presentations were insightful and thought provoking. Following the presentations, many delegations have already expressed views on various aspects. Obviously, profound changes are taking place in regard to energy mix as well as its demand and supply sides.
In the interest of brevity, let me flag certain aspects, keeping in perspective what we have heard so far, including relevant remarks made by Professors Bhagwati and Jeff Sachs on the first day of our Meeting:
- The first point I would like to raise is: should ‘Energy’ be included as a Goal or as a ‘cross-cutting’ issue/enabler spread across other Goals? We support the suggestion made by many that Energy be focused as a Goal, by itself.
- Clearly, energy scenario – nationally and globally – has to be addressed in the context of prevailing realities, at various levels. Both supply and demand issues need to be realistically addressed. The question of ‘access’ is crucial for sustainable development. The drivers relating to access include physical availability of energy and affordability.
- In addressing energy scenario, we will also have to be mindful of the ‘equity’ considerations. In South Asia, we already see, unequal access to energy is a serious constraint on inclusive development.
- And, yet, there are innovative solutions as well. These are cost-effective, already tested across various regions. Solar home systems and irrigation pumps and clean stoves are two clear examples. The key question that needs to be resolved, relates to their scaling up. Let me mention, in this context, that in Bangladesh, we have rapidly covered over one million households with solar home units through innovative financing and arrangements. But, to accelerate the process, we need access to new and cost effective technologies such as those alluded to by Mr. Adnan Amin.

Let me turn to some other aspects of Energy scenario:
- The idea of regional energy connectivity is being increasingly recognized as beneficial to all participating countries. Regional power grid is taking shape in different parts of the world. Prof. Modi put it quite eloquently as well. In South Asia, we have been working on this issue over the past 6-7 years; and now see things moving. Two months back, Bangladesh and India put in place necessary arrangements, to begin with a modest sharing of power. At the regional level, the countries are working on a SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME) over the past few years. Also, an inter-governmental agreement is in the offing.
- In that context, development of contextualized business models would be another key factor. But, this must be carefully worked out, keeping in perspective three goals of the Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) framework.
- Surely, there is sizable capital available globally for investment in energy sector. It would be important to see how energy related investments could be suited to the local requirements and circumstances – such as, in the LDCs – such that those countries can meet the yawning investment gap.
- Energy efficiency is yet another area of challenge and promise. We, in Bangladesh, have initiated several actions in this regard. However, while it may be something relating to local behavioural specificities/needs, it is strongly related to access to appropriate technologies which is a key global cooperation challenge.

Mr. Co-Chair,
It is rightly been said that unlike the MDGs, the SDGs should be ‘transformative’ in nature, including in the context production and consumption patterns, social relations, equitable global partnerships, governance including global governance. Energy is indeed the “power” to help galvanize and accelerate the post 2015 development process. And, to make that happen, these important considerations need to be factored in.
I thank you.
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