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Low carbon development (LCD) path in Bangladesh: an institutional perspective

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Low carbon development (LCD) path in Bangladesh: an institutional perspective
*Tareq Zahirul Haque; Md Badrul Hyder; Seregious Be-ere
*PhD student/consultant, Centre for Urban Research, School of Global Urban and Social Studies, RMIT
University, Australia
Climate change is one of the foremost problems the world faces today. Low Carbon Development (LCD)
approach has become an emerging framework to address climate change. LCD path has a significant correlation
with adopting advance technology and capacity-building, and therefore it requires huge initial economic
investment. Unlike developed countries, it is difficult for developing countries to divert resources for LCD as
they have many pressing issues to deal with. Nevertheless, Bangladesh, a highly climate-vulnerable lower-
middle-income country with no legal obligation to follow the LCD approach, has made significant progress
towards LCD path. Given that, this paper aims to understand the institutional pressure pushing Bangladesh to
grapple LCD path. An institutional theoretical approach has been used as central guidance to situate the analysis
systematically. The article draws on qualitative data from scholarly literature, policy/planning documents,
project documents, government reports, and organisational websites. The study finds that economic incentive is
the main motivating factor for which the government has responded to the LCD path. While all institutional
constituencies’ influences shape organisational decisions regarding LCD, international constituencies are
playing the major role because of Bangladesh's dependency on international aid and support. Despite these
influences, the key organisations of Bangladesh dealing with climate change face significant challenges from the
high contextual uncertainties and inadequate organisational interconnectedness to follow a low carbon pathway.
Contextual uncertainties are found complex due to the nature of the problem, difficulties with donor money and
government accountability, and inherent tension between donors and government for differing priorities. These
complexities sometimes help maintain organisational ‘status-quo’ which is a significant challenge of LCD path
in Bangladesh.
Keywords: Low carbon development, institutional theory, cause, constituent, context, Bangladesh.
1. Introduction
Climate change is considered one of the foremost problems the world faces today. Low Carbon Development
(LCD) approach has become an emerging framework to tackle climate change (UNEP, 2011). While both
developed and developing countries are now undergoing LCD strategies, they are not equally capable of
aligning with the LCD path (Bowen & Fankhauser 2011). Since LCD path has a significant correlation with the
adoption of advance technology, it requires substantial initial economic investment. Unlike developed countries,
it is usually difficult for developing countries to divert resources for LCD as they have many pressing issues
such as poverty and illiteracy among others to deal with (Song & Wang, 2013). Nevertheless, Bangladesh, a
highly climate-vulnerable developing country, has made significant progress towards the LCD path. Notably,
Bangladesh is now passing through a transition period for graduation from the Least Developed Countries
(LDC). Although Bangladesh reached the lower-middle-income country status in July 2015 and achieved all
eligibility conditions in 2018 for graduation from the LDC, it has to wait until 2024 (World Bank, 2021).
Therefore, without having the legal obligation to follow the LCD approach, Bangladesh was the first Least
Developed Country (LDC) when it grappled this path in 2008 (MoEF, 2009).
Against this backdrop, the research aims to understand the institutional influences of Bangladesh to support
LCD path. Therefore, the research question to be addressed in this paper is: How does Bangladesh's prevailing
institutional environment promote LCD path? To answer this question, this paper explores what institutional
causes motivated Bangladesh to proceed towards LCD path; how organisational actors respond to such
institutional causes; and whether the institutional contexts facilitate Bangladesh to follow LCD. The paper
begins with a background of LCD and Bangladesh, and then presents ‘institutional theory’ as a central guidance
to situate the inquiry. Finally, it provides an analysis that answers the research question, a conclusion section
then follows.
LCD and Bangladesh
There is presently no globally agreed definition of LCD. In general, most existing definitions of LCD focus on
the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in the process of development. More recently, adaptation (coping
with climate change impacts) has also been increasingly recognised as an essential component of LCD in the
low-income country context in particular. Accordingly, Fisher (2013, p.6) defined the LCD path as 'bringing
together three policy areas of climate change mitigation, adaptation and development to find synergies and win-
win'. This definition has emphasised the alignment of policies regarding mitigation, adaptation and development
to achieve co-benefits. Adaptation measures reduce the detrimental effects of climate change and thereby, can
contribute to sustainable development. Development activities lessen vulnerabilities to climate change impacts
through building adaptive capacity. And, mitigation measures reduce the future risk of climate change by
reducing carbon emissions (McGary et al., 2007). LCD path combines all three policy arenas, especially in the
context of LDCs and climate-vulnerable countries.
The detrimental effects of climate change in Bangladesh are immense because of its unique climate-susceptible
geographic location and low adaptive capacity. Bangladesh being an LDC, its past and present responsibilities
for climate change are limited. Accordingly, unlike developed and emerging big developing countries,
adaptation to climate change is the priority of Bangladesh to sustain economic growth and reduce poverty.
Since a better-developed society has a higher adaptive capacity to the impacts of climatic events, for the highly
climate-vulnerable lower income or lower-middle-income country like Bangladesh needs fast economic growth.
LCD path initially slows economic growth because the high investment is required for adopting sophisticated
technology and capacity building (Bowen & Fankhauser, 2011). Despite, Bangladesh has been undergoing
through the above approach of LCD. While Bangladesh needs fast economic growth for developing the superior
adaptive capacity to climate change impacts, why the country at this stage of development has considered LCD
approach is a pertinent question to look at.
Overall, research on LCD approach in Bangladesh is inadequate. Some grey literatures talk about LCD path in
Bangladesh. For example, Matsuoka et al. (2012), published a report that discuss challenges and opportunities
for building 'low carbon society' in Bangladesh. Their report provides socio-economic data and mitigation
technologies that could be useful for policymakers and practitioners. Khan and Shahjahan (2014) review the
existing low-carbon strategies and policies and mitigation options, including barriers and potential in particular
reference to the energy situation. These works do not focus on the organisational or institutional aspect of LCD
in Bangladesh. On the other hand, limited academic literature has so far been engaged with LCD pathway in the
context of Bangladesh in which institutional focus is hardly found. For example, Kibria, Haroon and Nugegoda
(2018) review LCD initiatives in terms of strategies, policies and actions in Bangladesh along with Chania,
India and Australia in a multiple case study strategy from the view of the natural environment and built
environment. This study brings comparative data for low-carbon energy consumption and identifies
communities' behaviour and lifestyle as a significant trajectory to achieve LCD. Given that, this study
contributes to the academic discussion of the LCD path in Bangladesh from the institutional perspective, it is
critically important.
Recently, the country has developed some documents in all three arenas of LCD. In 2005, Bangladesh adopted
National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) under the guideline of United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) to address pressing and short-term needs of climate change impacts (MoEF, 2005).
After that, in 2008, the country formulated Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP), a
comprehensive plan for addressing both mitigation and adaptation (MoEF, 2009). One of the six pillars of the
BCCSAP is “mitigation and low-carbon development: to evolve low-carbon development options and
implement these as the country’s economy grows over the coming decades and the demand for energy
increases’’ (MoEF, 2009, pp. xviii). After that, Bangladesh formulates Nationally Appropriate Mitigation
Actions (NAMAs) country-specific emissions mitigation plan (Dion et al., 2012). Despite knowing the high
economic cost involved in mitigation, all major national development plans (short-term, medium-term and long-
term) have incorporated mitigation along with adaptation, as part of the country’s overall development strategy
(GED, 2011). While the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) is the central organisation to develop
climate change-related planning and policies, the Planning Commission (PC) is responsible for the national
development planning. Thus, identifying major institutional factors and how these factors influence the MoEF
and other concerned organisations and how they respond to institutional pressure to better understand outcome
from the LCD path, and draw lessons for other countries with similar context.
In this circumstance, it is worthwhile to understand the institutional process under which Bangladesh has
approached the LCD path. The article draws on qualitative data from scholarly literature, policy/planning
documents, project documents, government reports, and organisational websites. The data was analysed based
on the analytical framework developed from the institutional theory. This inquiry provides important insights
about institutional complexities and opportunities to advance the LCD path in Bangladesh. Furthermore, the
lessons drawn from this study are useful for other LDCs, and many developed countries providing fund for
adopting LCD path.
2. Institutional theory
This study has considered the institutional theory as a central tenet to guide the whole analyses systematically.
The institutional theory explains how institutions create pressure on organisations to conform to the
environment (Oliver, 1991). Institutional opportunities and constraints affect the behaviour of actors involved in
organisational decision making in the policy process (Fenger, steen & Torre, 2015). Thus, this theory has the
competency to explain organisational behaviour as a result of the institutional influences or pressures exerted on
organisations (DiMaggio 1988). The institution provides expectations and form logics through which
organisations apply law, rules and regulations to gain greater legitimacy for organisational behaviour and
actions (Glober, 2014; Scott, 2013). The institutional theory has broad applications to analyse how changes in
regulations, technology and social values affect policy decisions regarding green growth, environmental
management and sustainability practices (See in Daddi et al., 2016; Delmas & Toffel, 2004; Glober 2014; Grob
& Benn, 2014). For example, Daddi et al. (2016) use institutional theory to examine the role of external
institutional forces in stimulating innovative environmental management responses by firms. Therefore, the
selection of institutional theory is appropriate for illustrating the responses of organisations in Bangladesh
against institutional pressures exerted to follow LCD path. In this paper, the organisation primarily refers to the
MoEF as it is the central authority of environmental issues.
There is no universally agreed way to analyse organisations using institutional approach because of the presence
of different perspectives and school of institutional thoughts (Scott, 2008). According to Scott (1995),
institutions administer at the different stratum of jurisdiction varying from the international system to contained
community relationships. Oliver (1991) defines an institution as a state (regulatory arrangement, government
agencies, courts and laws) and professions. She maintains that apart from the state and professions, institutional
constituents also include various interest groups, including the public. Thus, for this paper, institution means
state, professions and different interest groups, including the public opinions.
In this paper, we adopt DiMaggio and Powell (1983)’s institutional approach that depicts three major forms of
institutional drivers/pressures such as ‘coercive’, ‘normative’ and ‘mimetic’. These three pressures produce
‘isomorphism’ in organisational processes, structures and strategies. Coercive driver such as legal obligations
come from those who are in powerful positions. Normative drivers are entrenched in the societal values that
exert pressure to comply with societal obligations. And mimetic drivers occur when organisations imitate the
activities of other similar organisations within the same institutional environment (Glover et al., 2014). It does
not essentially mean that organisations respond equally to all three types of pressures. Instead, organisational
responses depend on five basic questions such as, “why these pressures are being exerted, who is exerting them,
what these pressures are, how or by what means they are exerted, and where they occur” (Oliver 1991, p.159).
In line with these five questions, Oliver (1991) outlined five institutional antecedents: cause, constituents,
content, control and context, respectively. Though not a comprehensive list, the subsequent analyses proceed
using three antecedents. Specifically, cause, constituent and context are analysed for illustrating the institutional
pressures and organisational responses of climate governance in Bangladesh in promoting LCD path.
Cause is defined as the rationale, expectorations or anticipated objectives of institutional pressures exerted on
organisations for conformity (Oliver, 1991). The underlying reasons of institutional pressures on organisations
are categorised into two classes: ‘social fitness’ and ‘economic fitness’ (Oliver, 1991). Social fitness for
organisations means enhancing their social legitimacy. When institutional pressures put on organisations, they
conform to those pressures if they anticipate it will improve social fitness. For example, conforming to pressure
that demands laws for organisations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions makes them socially acceptable and fit.
An economic fitness of an organisation is also an important cause of institutional pressures, which refers to
organisations to be accountable and rational for the use of their external (e.g., donors’ money) or internal funds.
Like social fitness, when organisations assume that the conformity will enhance their economic fitness, they
become more responsive to the institutional pressures (Oliver, 1991).
Constituent refers to the ‘actors’ who exert institutional influences on the organisations for conformity.
Institutional constituents may include the state, interest groups, professions and the common public who can
impose laws, regulatory rules and expectancy on the organisation (Oliver,1991). Institutional pressures can
come from both internal (within state) or external (outside state) actors or institutions (Zucker, 1987). The
pressures from institutional constituents make the organisations more accountable both socially and
economically. In a situation of competing interests of various institutional constituents, organisations often need
to confront numerous conflicting pressures, which is a challenge for organisation to conform (Oliver, 1991).
According to the institutional theory, context refers to the circumstances within which institutional influences
are imposed on organisations (Oliver, 1991). ‘Uncertainty’ and ‘interconnectedness’ are two vital aspects of
context that largely determine organisations' resistance or conformity to institutional pressures. Pfeffer and
Salancik (1978) proclaimed uncertainty as the extent to which the future conditions of the world are difficult to
anticipate and predict accurately. Uncertainty increases mimesis (Haunschild & Miner, 1997) that tends to avoid
pressures coming from institutions (Oliver, 1991). Accordingly, the extent of such uncertainty can make
organisations to take strategic positions to resist or comply with the institutional pressures. The
interconnectedness of context refers to the inter-organisational interactions in an organisational field (Oliver,
1991). The high level of organisational interconnectedness (such as coordination and collaboration) promotes
institutional conformity. In an interconnected environment, values, norms and shared information are diffused,
making organisations responsive to the institutional context (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983; Oliver, 1991). The
next section presents results and discussion in Bangladesh perspective based on these three antecedents of
institutional pressures upon which organisations respond.
3. Results & discussion
Cause: why institutional pressures are being exerted to follow LCD path
The growing threat of global climate change and current and anticipated vulnerabilities in Bangladesh construct
institutional rationality for the country to follow LCD path. The awareness and expectations of local people,
global environmental regulations and opening up of international financial windows are fundamental causes
upon which institutional pressures are moulded to enhance organisational social and economic fitness. Although
both social fitness and economic fitness rationality of institution have contributed to the LCD approach in
Bangladesh, economic fitness is the key promoter. Regarding social fitness, responsible organisations respond to
change to comply with that institutional pressure coming from the civic movement against environmental
degradation. For example, the MoEF and its subordinate department, the Department of Environment (DoE),
are mandated to enforce environmental regulation in Bangladesh. More recently, the DoE sets its vision to
ensure sustainable environmental governance for achieving intergenerational sustainability benefits. One key
mission of the DoE is to encourage green growth. However, the enforcement of environmental regulations,
particularly for the polluter industries in Bangladesh is relatively weak because of the lack of public
accountability. The traditional command and control mechanisms of environmental enforcement agencies such
as MoE, DoE and other government agencies cannot make polluters comply undermining their social legitimacy
(Aminuzzaman, 2010). Moreover, organisations' social fitness is flawed from the lack of informal enforcement
mechanisms such as public monitoring, disclosure of factory’s emission etc. (Blackman, Afsah & Ratunanda,
2004). Therefore, until now the social fitness is not the key motivator for the LCD approach in Bangladesh.
On the other hand, economic fitness has been found to be a principal cause of organisational motivation to
promote LCD path in Bangladesh. The government provides various financial incentives to the high polluter
industries for adopting environment-friendly technology, including alternative energy generations. These
initiatives are contributing to promoting LCD path. Concurrently, a number of international climate funding
windows have been opened towards LCD, which has motivated the government. For instance, Asian
Development Bank (ADB) provided funds to the MoEF to promote the Bangladesh brick industry to adopt
green technology as this industry was alarmingly emitting greenhouse gases (ADB, 2013). This fund
incentivised the industry to adopt green technology.
Moreover, the MoEF promoted the industry by generating finance from the Green Climate Fund (GFC) source.
Notably, according to the Kyoto Protocol, developing countries have the opportunity to earn revenue from the
GFC though carbon trading1. Statistics show that if Bangladesh brick industry can cut annual carbon emission
1Carbon trading: it is an exchange of credits between countries formulated to reduce carbon emissions.
According to Article 17 of the Kyoto protocol, ‘countries that have emission units to spare emissions permitted
by even 50% through the adoption of green technology, the country will gain US$ 4.17 million per annum by
carbon trading (Croitoru & Sarraf, 2012). This is a good economic incentive for both the MoEF and brick
industry to invest in low-carbon technology. The central bank of Bangladesh (Bangladesh Bank) has recently
established its sustainable finance department to support green business operation. They develop policy
frameworks relating to green finance, climate risk fund, green marketing, green product innovation etc. The
bank has already allocated USD 75 million for green products, renewable energy and brick kiln efficiency
improvement (Bangladesh Bank, 2021). Thus, these examples demonstrate how economic incentives have
motivated the government, the brickfield industry and other business to promote green technology.
Constituent: who is exerting pressures to follow LCD path
The major influences in Bangladesh are channelled from international actors to follow the LCD path. Bernstein
and Cashore (2012) identified four pathways of influences through which international actors can influence
domestic policy: international rules, international norms and discourse, markets, and direct access to domestic
policy-making processes. Although all these pathways have either direct or indirect influences on Bangladesh to
embrace LCD approach, here ‘international rules’ have only been highlighted. The international rules focus on
the pressure of issue-specific agreements, and the policy directions of influential international organisations,
such as the World Bank. These influences may be rested on consent or coercion. As noted earlier, as an LDC
country, Bangladesh has no legal binding (coercion) to cut carbon emission. As such, influences to follow LCD
path from this pathway is based on consent and indirect coercion. For instance, Bangladesh has recently
developed the national mitigation plan NAMAs. The UNFCCC develops the concept of this policy. According
to this policy agreement, developing countries can have a mitigation fund from donors if they communicate with
that UNFCCC directed mitigation plan (Dion et al., 2012). This is an economic incentive for the developing
nations, and this has influenced Bangladesh to prepare NAMAs.
Powerful international actors put coercive pressure on Bangladesh to invest more on carbon mitigation, although
its priority is an adaptation to climate change impacts. This pressure sometimes challenges Bangladesh strategy
of LCD path. For instance, the MoEF has received indirect coercive force from the World Bank in connection
with the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF), a significant donors’ fund to address climate
change in Bangladesh. Despite the location of BCCRF in the MoEF, the World Bank remains the manager of
this fund to accomplish regular activities (Chowdhury, 2012). Such involvement of the World Bank undermines
the ownership of the MoEF to the fund. Consequently, an inherent tension between the MoEF and the World
Bank is prevailing regarding this fund's utilisation. Whereas the absolutely domestic fund in Bangladesh
(Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund- BCCTF) allots 20.54% for the mitigation theme, the corresponding
figure in the BCCRF (43.63%) is more than double (Rai, Huq & Huq, 2014). This statistic indicates that the
MoEF is getting an indirect coercive pressure to cut carbon emission.
More importantly, Bernstein and Cashore (2012, p.7) note that ‘for countries dependent on trade or foreign
capital under conditions of increasing globalisation, fear of losing market share and investor confidence acts as
them but not "used" - to sell this excess capacity to countries that are over their targets’ (Luo 2013, p.145).
an added incentive to comply with international rules’. In this era of globalisation, Bangladesh is highly
dependent on foreign capital, especially in the ready-made garment industry (RMG) and foreign direct
investment (FDI). In Bangladesh, trade-in RMG sector has become a top foreign currency earning source (78%
of total export earning). Bangladesh is now the world second largest exporter of RMG. ( Rahman, Khan &
Amin, 2014). Because of the high dependency on the RMG, the country is on constant fear of losing global
RMG market in the increased competitive globalised market. Similarly, as a developing country, remittance
received from FDI is a necessary economic booster for Bangladesh. Therefore, to sustain the RMG’s global
market share and attract FDI, Bangladesh has been receiving significant influence from international rules about
complying with environmentally sustainable business practices.
Adding to external institutional constituents, domestic constituents also have significant influences. The civil
society movement in Bangladesh is active to protect the environment following the LCD path. Many
NGOs/CBOs (civil society organisations) especially the environmental activists such as Bangladesh
Environment Movement (Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon- BAPA), Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers
Association (BELA), Indigenous Environmental Preservation Movement, Bangladesh Environment Network,
National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources, Power and Ports etc. have taken a
strong stance in this respect. They are raising awareness, organising people, advocating government in policy
making and sponsoring civic movements against damaging environments. They also have a strong connection
with similar international organisations (Islam 1999). All such activities significantly influence the concern
authority (e.g., MoEF, DoE) toward conformity to enhance their social legitimacy. It is recognised that these
national constituents have contributed significantly to the recently formulated plan, policy and strategies (e.g.,
Bangladesh Sustainable Development Strategy 2010-2021) concerning low carbon development principle.
Context: where they occur
Institutional context is one crucial factor to exert pressure on organisations towards the LCD path. However, in
Bangladesh, complexities around context are found rather challenging to utilise the country’s full potential to
follow LCD trajectory. First, the institutional context surrounding LCD is an uncertain issue. Climate change is
a ‘wicked problem’, and its likely solution is uncertain2. Because the likely behaviour of the natural environment
in the future is not entirely known or even unknown (Gibson, 2006). LCD policy as a tool of mitigating climate
change remains an uncertainty. The uncertainties for LCD path especially for developing countries including
Bangladesh are generating climate change-related appropriate country-specific data, technological innovation,
transfer of technology and knowledge, and finance availability for low-carbon projects (Xue & Xuan, 2013). In
Bangladesh, all these contextual factors are critical for LCD path mainly because of the poor human resource
skills, low technological, and financial capacity (ADB, 2011). Generating climate-related historical, present, and
future data is indispensable for the appropriate design of LCD projects. Generating such kind of data requires
sophisticated technology, skills and finance. Similarly, huge finance is involved in technological innovation and
2 Wicked problem: Wicked problem is a complex, multifaceted and uncertain problem that is intractable to
solve. Climate change is such a problem that presents social, economic and scientific complexities, deeper
uncertainties, big ethical concern, and even there is no consensus on what it is (World Bank, 2014).
the transfer of knowledge and technology where Bangladesh is still unable to afford. Therefore, the LCD path in
Bangladesh is substantially dependent on the donors’ money.
Though insufficient, several funding windows have been opened for Bangladesh because of its high climate-
vulnerability and past and current limited carbon emissions responsibility. However, Bangladesh is facing a
tremendous challenge with the uncertainty of donor money. The reasons are: the actual disbursement of funds is
far below the amount donors commit and the delay and conditionality of donor funds (Hedger, 2011). For
example, donors want to ensure financial accountability of their money and thereby proposed various reform
measures as conditions that sometimes become difficult for Bangladesh to adopt in the existing country context.
As stated before, the World Bank's presence in managing the BCCRF is one of such conditionality. This
ultimately creates huge uncertainty with donor funds.
Second, contextual interconnectedness in Bangladesh has created an opportunity for organisations to respond to
institutional influences towards the LCD path, at least theoretically. Oliver (1991) defines interconnectedness as
the inter-organisational interactions in an organisational field. According to NAPA and BCCSAP, an
organisational network has been developed in Bangladesh to address climate change challenges. As illustrated in
Figure 1, the Climate Change Unit (CCU) in the MoEF was established to coordinate and facilitate climate
change-related activities. This unit operates with the National Environment Committee's overall direction
headed by the Prime Minister and the National Steering Committee on Climate Change which the MoEF
Minister chairs. Each concern-line ministry has a Climate Change Focal Point for administering climate change-
related activities in coordination with the CCU. The CCU maintains communications with donors, NGOs/CBOs,
academic/research organisations and communities in a horizontal relationship environment. Furthermore, the
CCU maintains communication with the UNFCCC and represents Bangladesh in international climate change
Line ministries (Climate
Change Focal Point)
Naonal Environment
Donor agencies
Change Unit
Global climate
Planning Commission
Naonal Steering Commi"ee
on Climate Change
Source: developed by the author
Figure 1: Contextual interconnectedness of LCD governance in Bangladesh
Despite the interconnected organisational framework, in practice, however, inter-organisational relations in
environmental management remain challenging for LCD initiative. Aminuzzaman (2010) found that
environmental-related laws and policies lack specific operational guidelines for inter-organisational
collaboration in Bangladesh. For instance, as noted before, the MoEF and PC are two central organisations to
accelerate the LCD path. However, these two vital organisational actors work in parallel with climate funding.
The two major climate funds in Bangladesh are Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) and Bangladesh Climate
Change Resilience fund (BCCRF). While BCCTF is the Government of Bangladesh (GoB)'s revenue fund,
BCCRF is the donors’ fund. The location of these two funds management authority remains in the MoEF in
which PC lacks authority (Rai, Huq & Huq 2014). On the other hand, PC governs the Annual Development Plan
(ADP), the mid-term development plan (Five years plan) and other long-term development plans, which also
contribute 38.6% of climate funding (Chowdhury, 2012; GED, 2012). The coordination mechanism between the
MoEF and PC is limited. Thus, there are two parallel climate funding mechanisms operated in Bangladesh. Put
in another way, the LCD path in terms of climate funding management is a divergent approach from the central
development plan. Thus, it is difficult to ensure the success of the LCD path unless good alignment is
maintained between the LCD path and the central development plan. Accordingly, poor interconnectedness
between the MoEF and PC in Bangladesh remains a challenge to promote institutional conformity.
4. Conclusions
Considering the institutional process by which institutional pressures are imposed on the organisations
discussed, it makes sense how Bangladesh's prevailing institutional environment has influenced the LCD path.
The analyses demonstrate that economic incentive is the main motivating factor for which the government has
responded towards the LCD approach. While all institutional constituencies’ influences shape organisational
decisions regarding LCD, international constituencies are playing the major role because of Bangladesh's
dependency on international aid and support. In the present competitive pace of globalisation, Bangladesh's
major economic boosters are dependent on foreign trade and capital. Therefore, pressures from international
constituencies in relation to trade and investment, and donor money are greatly influencing the country to
conform to the LCD approach. Despite the above institutional causes and constituencies’ influences on the LCD
path, the concerned organisations face significant challenges because of the high contextual uncertainties and
insufficient organisational interconnectedness. Contextual uncertainties are found to be very complex because of
the nature of the problem (wicked problem), difficulties with donor money and government accountability, and
intrinsic tension between donors and the MoEF for divergent priorities. These complexities sometimes help
maintain organisational ‘status-quo’ which is a challenge of LCD path in Bangladesh.
Thus, all above discussions suggest that international actors need to consider the contextual reality while
working with the countries (especially in the arena of LCD path) that are the worst victims of climate change
impacts but are less responsible for it. On the other hand, LDCs, including lower-middle-income countries like
Bangladesh should ensure financial accountability of donor funds to prove their economic fitness. Also, low-
income countries should be more responsive about social expectations and demands from the LCD approach to
enhance social legitimacy. Future research should focus on how to deal with the institutional complexities
around the LCD approach for a better outcome from the LCD framework.
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The low-carbon development (LCD) is the development that causes low greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission, reduce vulnerabilities of climate change impacts on social, economic, environmental sectors/assets and integrate/incorporate climate change as a risk in development programmes. This article identified that there are multiple concepts of LCD in different countries and the international communities. It highlighted that improvements in energy efficiency and energy conservation, investments/increased use of low carbon or green energy (renewable energy), switching to low-carbon transport, carbon capture and storage, reducing the carbon footprint of an organisation etc. are essential achieving LCD. The article emphasised LCD in the natural and human-built environment including agriculture, buildings/infrastructure, fisheries & aquaculture, forestry, industry, power/energy, tourism, transport, water and wastes. There are several initiatives, strategies, policies and actions on LCD in Australia, Bangladesh, China and India. Those are awareness, education, capacity building and behaviour changes of communities on LCD; targets of capping green and renewable energy for short-, mid- and long-terms; zero tillage, climate smart agriculture, agroforestry; use of energy efficient appliances, afforestation/reforestation/restoration of forests; use of low carbon power (solar, wind, nuclear, hydro, biofuels); energy production from organic waste; zero waste, zero carbon emissions; sustainable consumption; carbon capture and storage; carbon tax; low-carbon/green cities; low-carbon transport; investment in low-carbon technologies; rainwater harvesting, R&D and innovation and subsidies on solar heaters, electric vehicles and energy efficient appliances. Keywords: Low-carbon development, Greenhouse gases, Carbon footprint, Renewable energy, Australia, Bangladesh, China, India DOI: 10.3233/JCC-180006 Citation: Journal of Climate Change, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 49-61, 2018 Price: EUR 27.50
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