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Sri Lanka’s Climate change to cause annual loss of 1.2 percent of GDP by 2050

By: Staff Writer

May 14, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka’s one of the major concerns is the vulnerability to risks arising from climate change, which could cost a considerable percentage of GDP, according to a World Bank report.

The cost of climate change will account for a 1.2 percent loss of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Sri Lanka by 2050 according to estimates by the World Bank, Senior Presidential Advisor on Climate Affairs Ruwan Wijewardene said adding that it would be a multi-million dollar loss to the country.

Speaking during the ‘Environment Leaders of Tomorrow workshop’ organized by the National Youth Services Council over the weekend, Mr. Wijewardene said it is Sri Lanka’s agriculture which is mostly affected by climate change.

“Under the tropical built-in initiative, the President had proposed that all countries located along the tropical belt should come together to take up climate issues with developed nations.

It is the poor countries in the tropical belt which are affected as a result of emission of gasses from the factories built by developed nations.

President Wickremesinghe is of the opinion that small countries in the tropical belt should request developed nations write off a portion of debts which they (Small countries) owe those nations.

The small nations should also invite developed nations to invest in renewable energy projects in underdeveloped nations in the tropical belt as per the ideology of the President,” he stressed.

Yet another effect of climate change, pandemics are expected to occur more frequently with an even greater social and economic toll for climate-vulnerable nations like Sri Lanka.

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), rising temperatures inhibit the spread of zoonotic vectors and diseases, exposing more people to vector-borne diseases.

In addition, land use changes that destroy wildlife habitats increase interactions between humans and animals, raising the probability of infectious diseases spreading to humans.

Sri Lanka’s low urbanisation rate, with only 18% of its population living in urban areas, renders it susceptible to zoonotic spillover events, further exacerbating pandemic risks.

To address the social and economic impacts of climate change in Sri Lanka evaluated thus far, it is necessary to consider reforms to its trade policy and the energy and food sectors..

Expanding this approach to other trade partners, particularly within BIMSTEC, can yield more favourable global trade outcomes than pursuing additional free trade agreements, given Sri Lanka’s limited product range and supply capacity.

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