Bangladesh update: is opinion now swinging against Phulbari coal?Published by MAC on 2007-08-16
Bangladesh update: is opinion now swinging against Phulbari coal?
16th August 2007
After several months of official and media intimidation against opponents of the Global Coal/Asia Energy Phulbari project in northwestern Bangladesh, the tide of official opinion may be turning (albeit slowly) in their favour.
Last week, the interim government's advisory body on the long-delayed national coal policy warned against over-reliance on extraction of coal and its likely negative impacts on the environment. A noted Bangladeshi geologist, while pointing out major inconsistencies and shortcomings in the draft policy proposal, also welcomed the fact that it "seems to have moved away from ...an export-oriented mining plan by international companies, including the Asia Energy Company (AEC)"
Meanwhile, it is reported that Khaleda Zia, former prime minister and leader of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP). is under investigation for illegally allowing the transfer of BHPBilliton's Phulbari lease to Asia Energy in 1998.