The Sundarbans – the world’s largest mangrove forest and home to Bengal tigers and millions of villagers – has weathered cyclones and tsunamis. Now the UNESCO World Heritage Site faces a new threat: the planned Rampal coal power plant in Bangladesh. Tell Exim Bank India to cancel the financing of this potentially disastrous project.
The Sundarbans’ rich biodiversity prompted UNESCO to declare the forest a World Heritage Site. However, this paradise is now in danger. The Rampal coal power plant is to be built in Bangladesh, only 14 kilometers from the mangroves. Preliminary work is already underway.
The Rampal coal power plant is a threat to the existence of the Sundarbans ecosystem and its inhabitants. The financing of this misguided project must be stopped!To Yaduvendra Mathur, CEO of Exim Bank India:
Dear Mr Mathur,
Exim Bank India intends to finance the construction of the 1,320 MW coal-fired Rampal power station in Bangladesh with a $1.6 B loan to Bangladeshi India Friendship Power Company.
Environmentalists and human rights activists are warning against the project: the power station threatens the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Air and water pollution from the power station would degrade the habitat of Bengal tigers, crocodiles, dolphins and hundreds of bird and fish species. The impact of the power station could ultimately destroy the vulnerable Sundarbans ecosystem and threaten the survival of endangered species.
The Rampal coal plant would also be a disaster for the two million people from villages in and around the Sundarbans as they rely on fishing and the collection of forest products among other activities for their livelihood. Without the mangrove forest, these people would see their means of subsistence reduced or even ended completely.
Furthermore, Rampal’s anticipated annual carbon emissions of 7.9 million tonnes would contribute significantly to climate change and its incalculable future impacts on Bangladesh and India.
Outdated fossil fuels are not the answer to the challenges that India and Bangladesh face today. We call on you to cancel the financing of the Rampal power station and to instead provide urgent support and investments for decentralized, renewable energy projects.