Sri Lanka the second most affected by climate change: index

Sri Lanka has topped the list of most affected countries (in 2017) in the Global Climate Risk Index 2019.

Global warming and climate change have resulted many catastrophes in Sri Lanka. As an island, Sri Lanka is prone to natural disasters resulting from intensive rainfall, prolonged drought, flashfloods, landslides and rising sea levels. Therefore, it is imperative that the country takes proactive measures to mitigate and manage such calamities.

Garnering finances to overcome these challenges however, can be a challenge especially for a developing economy such as Sri Lanka.

The government’s focus primarily revolves around development. Meanwhile, sourcing funds and resources to combat climate change and manage disasters is a costly affair and requires external intervention.

Sri Lanka has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent come 2030 – while only four percent of this can be achieved by the state, the balance requires external support.

Chief Executive Officer of Janathakshan (GTE) Ranga Pallawala notes that the Sri Lankan economy cannot sustain climate financing on its own, adding that the country need not invest independently as developed countries have an obligation to assist developing countries given the former’s contribution to global warming.

International institutions such as the Green Climate Fund support countries such as Sri Lanka in their journey of reducing carbon emissions and building resilience to extreme weather conditions.

The Sri Lankan government also allocates funds for major projects that combat climate change. However, financing alone won’t suffice as the public mindset must also transform!

The National Climate Change Act that is currently being drafted aims to implement a regulatory arm to arbitrate between the country’s government and energy sector – a rigid set of guidelines and regulations is required to ensure that its promises and targets are met.