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Sri Lanka commits to net zero emissions by 2040: President

June 06, Colombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe has unveiled Sri Lanka’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040 while pursuing its economic objectives.

During the World Environment Day celebrations held at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday (05), he highlighted Sri Lanka’s pioneering role as the first Asian country to embed the global objective of zero carbon emissions into its national policy.

President Wickremesinghe stressed that Sri Lanka’s response to climate change and environmental challenges transcends conventional programmes, now being integrated into the country’s economic and foreign policy frameworks.

He underscored the forthcoming Climate Change Act and the establishment of the Climate Change Centre, which will establish a comprehensive legal framework for addressing environmental and climate change concerns, setting Sri Lanka apart from other nations.

Addressing the audience, President Wickremesinghe showcased Sri Lanka’s proactive engagement in recent COP Conferences on Climate Change and other international platforms.

He announced a significant initiative: the draft legislation for establishing the International University on Climate Change in Sri Lanka is expected to be enacted before June next year.

Expressing reservations about the financial commitments from Western and developed nations to combat climate change, President Wickremesinghe juxtaposed the expenditure on conflicts with the potential investment in climate change mitigation efforts.

He called upon developed countries to extend relief to low-income African nations while advocating for tropical countries to mobilise their resources to manage climate change effectively, thereby contributing significantly to global climate control.

President Wickremesinghe also formalised the establishment of the Warnagalawatta Environmental Protection Zone in the Ratnapura District through a gazette announcement.

Furthermore, he honoured eight students from four school environmental pioneer brigades with symbolic medals during the event.

The President’s address underlined the urgency of this year’s World Environment Day celebration amidst escalating global temperatures.

He expressed optimism that a concerted focus on global climate change will enable the realisation of the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Under President Wickremesinghe’s leadership, the celebration at the Presidential Secretariat, themed “Effective Land Use is a Healthy Alternative,” witnessed the launch of the “National Green Procurement Policy.”

This initiative aligns with Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to foster sustainable development and environmental stewardship.

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