Sri Lanka to be carbon neutral by 2050 | Sunday Observer
President Rajapaksa pledges at UN

Sri Lanka to be carbon neutral by 2050

26 September, 2021

Sri Lanka pledged to world leaders on Friday to put a lid on coal power generation in the country in the future to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the United Nations International Energy Forum in New York that Sri Lanka will stop building new coal power plants and move to more renewable energy sources with an ambitious target of generating 70 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. The President has been in New York since September 19 attending the United National General Assembly.

Currently Sri Lanka generates over 35 percent of its power needs from hydro and other renewable energy sources.

“Our aim is to transition away from fossil fuels, promote de-carbonisation, and make Sri Lanka a carbon neutral country by 2050,” the President told world leaders.

He said Sri Lanka’s commitment not to construct any new coal power plants is reflected in its Nationally Determined Contributions to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Sri Lanka is happy to be a co-lead of the Energy Compact for No New Coal Power, he said, adding that the country is discouraging the import of vehicles relying on fossil fuel and will encourage wider adoption of electric cars.

At the United Nations General Assembly this year, the ‘low lying island nations’ called upon world leaders to act more forcefully against global warming, the international media reported. As a part of its responsibility, China too pledged not to build coal power plants abroad in the future. Japan and South Korea have also said that they will put an end to coal power generation.

President Rajapaksa called upon the countries that have the ability to support developing nations as they attempt the transition to more sustainable energy generation and use.

Sri Lanka is encouraging entrepreneurs, small businesses, and community organisations to invest in 7,000 small scale solar projects throughout the country. The country’s largest wind power farm was also launched recently.

Inviting investors, the President said, Sri Lanka welcomes large-scale investments in renewable energy, particularly in solar, wind and biomass, over the coming decades. “We will ensure that appropriate projects are given priority and are rapidly implemented.”

Cabinet approval to call for proposals to set up renewable energy plants with a capacity over 50 MW has already been obtained.