The Norfund Climate Investment Fund in Bangladesh: Norway’s NOK 10 billion fund in advancing renewable energy

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The Climate Investment Fund (CIF) managed by Norfund, marks a significant step in Norway’s commitment to global energy transition. The CIF, with an allocation of 10 billion NOK (Norwegian Krone) from 2022 to 2027, is dedicated to invest in renewable energy and low-carbon technologies in developing countries with significant emissions from coal and other fossil fuel power production. Among them, Bangladesh holds a prominent position. The fund is targeted to invest in a wide range of renewable energy projects, including large-scale endeavors like solar power plants and wind farms, as well as smaller opportunities such as rooftop solar installations. Additionally, the CIF supports enabling technologies with substantial climate impact, such as energy storage and transmission infrastructure.

The Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka, in collaboration with Norfund and The Nordic Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bangladesh (NCCI), hosted a landmark seminar on 16 October 2023 to introduce the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) to Bangladesh. This event highlighted Norway’s significant commitment to support the transition to renewable energy in Bangladesh.

The event shed light on Bangladesh’s green energy transition including increased investments in renewable energy, the development of conducive policies to facilitate green energy investments, the removal of fiscal barriers to renewable energy accessories, and collaboration with development partners for technical and financial support to accelerate the transition.

The Chief Guest of the event Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP – The Special Envoy to the Honorable Prime Minister for Climate Change and Chairperson, Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh said Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world and climate change impact is causing the country to lose 2% of its gross domestic product. Bangladesh is not only in need of investments in tackling climate impacts but also required technical assistance in building knowledge and capacity and The Nofund Climate Investment Fund can be a great facilitator.

In his welcome remarks, NCCI President Tahrin Aman stated thatBangladesh’s energy and power sector is in the midst of a profound transition, shifting from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. This transition is not merely a change in our energy sources; it is a testament to our determination to build a sustainable and resilient future.

Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan reflects our nation’s unwavering commitment to a green, prosperous, and sustainable future. Over the years, various stakeholders, including NGOs, think tanks, financial institutions, the private sector, and energy experts have been relentless in their efforts to push the green energy agenda. Their dedication, their passion, and their collective vision are the driving force behind our transition to green energy.”

In his opening remarks, H.E. Espen Rikter-Svendsen, Ambassador of Norway stated “access to capital – so important to develop the renewable energy industry. Reliable and experienced financial partners are key to facilitate for further developments in renewable power generation.’ He has also stressed on removing obstacles and create a dynamic business climate for renewable energy by improving governance and transparency, well-regulated markets and smart incentives that promote the right kind of investments.”

The seminar served as a platform to introduce the Climate Investment Fund and Norfund’s role in advancing renewable energy in Bangladesh. It brought together key stakeholders, including government officials, industry experts, investors, and thought leaders, to explore opportunities for collaboration and investment in the green energy transition.

Bangladesh’s energy and power sector is undergoing a transformative shift from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The adoption of the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan (MCPP) has set ambitious renewable energy targets, underscoring the country’s determination to embrace green energy. Various stakeholders, including NGOs, think-tanks, financial institutions, the private sector, and energy experts, have worked relentlessly for years to promote a sustainable energy agenda, ensuring energy security and reducing dependence on imported primary energy sources.

The event provided valuable insights into the Climate Investment Fund’s transformative potential in Bangladesh’s journey towards a sustainable energy future.