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Dhaka Monday,  Feb 6, 2023

Trump Coal Alliance To Include Bangladesh

Judy Peters Bonn

As coal output and sales continue to rise in the United State, a senior energy adviser to the White House has signaled a global “clean coal alliance” that would include Bangladesh.

David Banks, who represented Washington at a United Nations climate change conference in Germany last week, said the US “wants to help all coal-dependent economies to burn coal efficiently and cleanly.”

The plan, he said, would be driven by billions of dollars already signed off by President Trump for clean coal research, along with technology developed in Australia, India and China.

“President Trump still intends to withdraw from the Paris agreement, but in good faith we will continue to work with parties to the accord,” Mr. Banks said. “There are 1,600 new coal plants being built around the world, and demand for coal and gas is growing. It’s in the global interest that, if these fuels are going to be used anyway, it must be done as cleanly as possible.”

He said the administration also wanted to try and change a World Bank ban on lending to projects that use coal. Such a change would allow Dhaka to borrow from the World Bank for future power plants.

The first coal mine in Bangladesh was opened in Jamalganj in 1962 and government has announced plans to ramp up use of coal for electricity. Bangladesh has one the fastest-growing industrial sectors in Asia.

Mr Banks said the United States would remain “a global player” in climate change but also understood, “the reality of countries who no choice but to generate electricity from coal.”

The US delegation said the proposed clean-coal alliance could include China, Australia, India, Bangladesh South Africa and the Philippines.

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