Four environmental groups issue statement over proposal for new coal power plants

Four environmental groups issue statement over proposal for new coal power plants

Four environmental groups issue statement over proposal for new coal power plants

Written by Keshala Dias

18 Dec, 2017 | 9:51 pm

Following our reports yesterday on the proposal to build two new coal power plants in Sampur and Norochcholai, four environmental organisations have supported the News 1st findings by issuing a response to the cabinet proposal.

The environmental organizations are the Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka, the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society, the Federation of Environmental Organisations and the Centre for Environmental Justice.

The organizations say they have noted inherent issues and contradictions in the recent joint cabinet paper outlining the diversification of the energy mix in Sri Lanka’s long-term generation plan. The last point of the cabinet paper, which purports to plan carbon sequestration through the creation of new carbon-sink forests, raises grave concerns, particularly in the current atmosphere of rapid deforestation raging through Sri Lanka and the lack of enforcement of environmental laws to mitigate it. It would require planting approximately 36,000 hectares of new forest to sequester the carbon annually emitted by the two power plants.

The organization says, in the recent past, the government of Sri Lanka claimed to target increasing forest cover by 3 percent, but in fact has lost 1 percent since then. Moreover, a newly planted forest takes decades to mature into a carbon sink, and by that time, the world would have largely phased out coal altogether.

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