Written by Keshala Dias
24 Jan, 2017 | 10:12 pm
An event titled Climate Change : Opportunities and Challenges for Business was held in Colombo on January 24.
The event, which was organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka, was graced by President Maithripala Sirisena.
At the event, the CEB’s power generation plan came under criticism.
The Chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Platform for Bio-Diversity Prof. Sir Robert Tony Watson noted that we need to mitigate climate change and adopt to climate change.. And that Sri Lanka is a member of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), but that Sri Lanka never shows up to a single meeting even although it’s been signed.
He went on to note that there is no need for Sri Lanka to import coal from another country when it already has the right conditions for an economy based on wind, solar, and even modern biomass.
“One does not need to import coal, one can use your own natural resources to power your industry, power the homes of every single Sri Lankan and you can do it in a sustainable way”, he said.
“I can understand how sometimes the wrong decisions are made to get the infrastructure quickly in place, so I don’t have an answer to your question other than one needs to sit around a table potentially led by your President, who is also the Minister for Environment, with the private sector, with civil society and plan where do we want to go”.
The moderator of the discussion Niro Cooke stated that it’s a shame that some of the policymakers who need to hear these messages are not in attendance.
“We are about to face an imminent drought, and the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy was recently quoted requesting the citizens of Sri Lanka to move away form incandescent bulbs and to move towards CFL and LED bulbs. Which is a wonderful initiative, but don’t you think that we should be taking more significant steps in terms of building sustainable infrastructure to be able to mitigate and prevent environmental disasters such as the droughts and floods we are about to experience?”
The President was also presented with a memento in recognition of his work to mitigate climate change.
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