Experts have emphasised policy support and public sector collaboration to ensure a “Net Zero Smart Bangladesh” in future.

“Policy support, and public and private sector collaboration are the keys to creating a Net Zero Smart Bangladesh, an expert said at a roundtable titled “Creating a Net Zero Smart Bangladesh” held today at the BRAC Center on Monday.

Robi Axiata Limited and CSR Window jointly organized the roundtable to raise awareness on the need to pursue the Smart Bangladesh vision on a Net Zero emission basis.

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis’s Energy and Climate Specialist, Shafiqul Alam presented the keynote at the roundtable.

CSR and Sustainability expert Mohiuddin Babar moderated the roundtable. Robi’s Executive Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Communications, Anamika Bhakta gave the welcome speech.

While unveiling Robi’s Sustainability Report, Robi’s Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Sharif Shah Jamal Raz informed the audience that Robi is currently working towards a Net Zero vision by 2050. Along the way, Robi will cut its emissions by 45% within 2030.

Highlighting the progress made towards the Net Zero vision, Raz said: “As of now, Robi is powering around 13% of its network sites with solar energy. With a total of 2,127 solar powered network sites, total installed capacity increased by nearly 50% between 2020 and 2022. This resulted in an almost 25% increase in solar power-based energy production. Besides relying on solar power, Robi is also aggressively pursuing tree plantations to offset its carbon emissions.”

Speaking at the roundtable, the Chairman (Senior Secretary) of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Shyam Sunder Sikder, said: “We should not wait for 2050 as stipulated by the United Nations, rather, we should aim to achieve Net Zero targets within 2041, when we will achieve our Smart Bangladesh vision. I commend Robi for declaring its Net Zero vision.”

“I am very encouraged to see them already making significant progress towards their vision by adopting solar energy to power more than 2,000 of their network towers. We need the public and private sectors to collaborate to deliver the Smart Bangladesh vision on Net Zero basis.”

Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority’s (SREDA) Chairman Munira Sultana highlighted SREDA’s contribution to ensuring a net zero vision.

“We need to approach the Net Zero vision on a step-by-step basis. You will be happy to know that we have reduced electricity consumption at SREDA by more than 40% by taking simple measures,” she said.

Deputy Director (Climate Change and International Conventions), Department of Environment, Mahmud Hossain, Environmentalist and CEO, Green Savers, Ahsan Rony, Chairman, Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh, Md Shamim Jahangir, President, Telecom and Technology Reporters’ Network Bangladesh (TRNB), participated in the discussions at the roundtable as panel members, among others.

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