Tragedy of gas and coal exploration in Bangladesh

towards ensuring corporate environmental accountability

Shawkat Alam*, Abdullah Al Faruque

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Access to natural resources and cheap labour has made the developing world particularly appealing to multinational corporations (MNCs) in the mining and extractive sector. While this industry has great potential as an engine of economic growth for these nations, it has also demonstrated an equally destructive potential, threatening the environmental and social welfare of people who have little to lose as it is. This article investigates three incidents of environmental disaster resulting from foreign-owned operations in Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world. Bangladesh has been endowed with large reserves of natural gas, but rather than bringing the country increased prosperity, the exploitation of these natural resources has resulted in disasters which have had reverberating effects on the natural environment, the human rights and the public health of this impoverished nation. These three environmental incidents will be examined in the context of international norms governing corporate responsibility and will emphasise the importance for national regulation on the environment in the absence of binding international regulation. Suggestions will be made for improving the existing regime of regulation in Bangladesh to ensure improved environmental performance of MNCs operating within its borders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-148
Number of pages32
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law
Volume12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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