Bring budgets center-stage to achieve green growth in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has sustained a GDP growth rate of over 6 percent for more than decade. The impending graduation out of the Least Developed Countries category is a remarkable achievement for the country of 160 million people, only in its fifth decade as an independent nation.

This growth trajectory has brought in its wake several key challenges on the environment front — unchecked extraction of scarce natural resources, environmental degradation, population pressure, climate-related vulnerabilities, to name a few. Bangladesh is one of the lowest ranked countries in the global Environmental Performance Index prepared by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. In the 2018 report, Bangladesh ranks 179 out of 180 countries. Studies have shown that Bangladesh loses about 1 percent of its GDP due to the harmful effects of air pollution alone.

This has in turn put pressure on policymakers to ensure that growth strategies are sustainable. A key element of sustainability is a green growth path, which is not only expected to limit the damage to the environment, but actually enhance productivity of the natural capital stock…

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