Sri Lanka’s Youth-Led Movement stresses Calls for shut down of coal plants

Questions fate of futuristic projects

Asserts stone age thinking deprives island nation growth, burdening population severely

The Sri Lanka Blue Green Alliance an alliance that promotes sustainable energy and community welfare, held a press briefing at the Sri Lanka National Library Auditorium bringing to light their perspectives into investments into Renewable Energy in Sri Lanka.

The Asian Development Bank states that on average, up to 50% of Sri Lanka’s export income is spent on importing crude oil, coal, and refined petroleum products. The credit ratings assigned to Sri Lanka by Moody’s and S&P, denoted as “CA” and “SD” respectively, signify a substantial level of risk associated with lending or investing in the country. Consequently, this poses a significant challenge in attracting investors, both domestically and internationally, for projects with timelines for Return on Investment (ROI) and necessitates thorough preparation in the renewable energy domain. Despite this challenging scenario, there exists an opportunity for leveraging the extensive expertise and experience available globally in handling demanding projects. Particularly, in the North – Western region which is highlighted as a high Wind Energy potential area, where abundant renewable energy (RE) resources remain largely untapped, there is a potential for power generation.

Rajitha Abeygunasekera, the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Blue Green Alliance emphasized, “Oil and coal claim more than 60% of the country’s electricity generation input mix, despite the country not lacking in Renewable Energy potentials, which impacts on national energy security heavily and is a major strain on the country’s trade budget with negative economic impact. “The fact that only 4% of power needs are met by Renewable Energy (RE), viewed along with the declared goal of achieving a 50% renewable electricity supply by 2030 under Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (clause 31 in “Environment” section) calls for major initiatives in Renewable Energy generation”, he stressed.

National Organizer Sri Lanka Blue Green Alliance Vinshada Yasasmini said, “Renewable energy projects have gained greater importance especially after Sri Lanka policy makers decided that we need to be in 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The 2016 “Blue Green Era” programme of Sri Lanka upholds our commitment to adopt climate smart strategies and low carbon use based on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals. These policies call for significant levels of renewable energy projects for the country. Why are we not changing is a question we ponder upon? he queried”.

Complementing these perspectives, Dilanka Maduranga, serving as the Press Secretary, shared, “ Green initiatives in Sri Lanka have the power to boost the economy, improve lives, and protect the environment. By investing in renewable energy and sustainable farming, we can create jobs, especially in solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, while also helping marginalized communities access clean energy and better livelihoods. Shifting from coal and diesel to renewable energy sources not only improves health by reducing pollution but also cuts healthcare costs. These initiatives support rural areas, empowering locals through education and entrepreneurship. Additionally, by preparing for climate change with resilient infrastructure and restoring ecosystems, Sri Lanka can ensure a safer, more sustainable future for all”.

As the Sri Lanka Blue Green Alliance will continue to spearhead meaningful dialogues and advocate for progressive policies, its collective voice resonates with hope and determination. “As a movement we stand poised to steer Sri Lanka towards a future where sustainability is not merely an aspiration but a tangible reality, enriching lives and safeguarding the planet for generations to come, it is now or never!” the young activists added.

Rajitha Abeygunasekera, General Secretary and Vinshda Yasasmini, National Organiser of Sri Lanka Blue Green Alliance addressing the public

Vinshada Yasasmini, National Organiser with Rajitha Abeygunasekera, General Secretary of Sri Lanka Blue Green Alliance

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