LONDON, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- British officials announced they signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh to encourage the development of renewable energy projects.
The British Department of Energy and Climate Change announced the MOU with the Bangladeshi government. It aims to team British universities and institutes with Bangladeshi counterparts to develop research projects on renewable energy.
"International collaboration on research is vital to make renewable energy viable for developing countries and help tackle climate change," British Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said in a statement.
Experts working for the United Nations called on Bangladesh to ensure adequate safeguards are in place should a permit for an open-pit coal mine be approved. The envoys expressed concern that plans for the mine in northwestern Bangladesh could displace more than 200,000 people.
U.N. experts said the mine would destroy as much as 12,000 hectares of agricultural land. The mine would extract more than 570 million tons of coal over 36 years.
London said Bangladesh has experienced sustained economic growth for more than 10 years and now has important decisions to make regarding its energy sector.