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Muzammil, Maliha (2019) The political economy of low carbon, climate resilient development in Bangladesh. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study presents a political economy analysis of Low Carbon, Climate Resilient Development (LCCRD) through the Solar Home System (SHS) and Solar Irrigation Pumps (SIP) programs in the energy and agriculture sectors and in doing so assesses their contribution to the broader development trajectory of Bangladesh. LCCRD involves implementing adaptation, mitigation and development simultaneously in order to benefit from ‘triple wins’. A qualitative case study approach enabled a detailed analysis of the institutional and financial mechanisms; benefits and trade-offs from the programs and studied the discourses and narratives related to LCCRD in Bangladesh. The programs delivered triple wins but the benefits from adaptation, mitigation and development were not derived equally. The SHS program contributed to building adaptive capacity, reducing vulnerability and advancing human development benefits at the local level. However, the program only contributed marginally to the renewable energy mix and the mitigation goals of Bangladesh. Energy access through SHS was not necessarily pro poor. Besides providing energy access for irrigation in off grid areas, the SIP program also contributed to adaptation, mitigation and a reduction in fossil fuel subsidies along with contributing to human development benefits to a large extent. Although there was a trickledown effect of the funds, the implementing organisations benefitted more from accessing climate finance than the farmer beneficiaries using the service. Previous research on expected ‘triple wins’ from the programs do not take into account how peripheral they are to the broader development trajectory of Bangladesh which is now focused on less clean forms of energy generation for economic growth. In contributing to the current ‘triple wins’ discourse in Bangladesh, this study provides a more realistic account regarding the prospects of LCCRD. However, the space for ‘triple wins’ could be enlarged if the programs are redesigned specifically to contribute to pro-poor adaptation, mitigation and development.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Andrew Newsham
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 11:02

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