Sri Lanka will become the first country in the region to adopt a green economy, President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced yesterday (27) during a meeting with investors who attended the Sri Lanka Green Energy Summit 2023.
President Wickremesinghe noted that the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Power and Energy and the Climate Change Office are working together to introduce a green economic policy focused on renewable energy within the next two months.
He expressed his aim to place Sri Lanka at the forefront of green economic policy, much like its success in tea exports.
He also expressed his gratitude to the investors who participated in the Clean Green Energy Summit and pledged to provide the necessary facilities to meet their investment requirements.
Sri Lanka is currently facing two major challenges – debt restructuring and transitioning to green energy. While debt restructuring is already underway, the country must also act quickly to establish a green economy.
The President observed that Sri Lanka has great potential to generate energy through renewable sources such as solar, wind, biogas, and sea waves, adding that he believes that transitioning to a green economy could be the key to building a stronger economy for Sri Lanka.
The President also committed to facilitating local and foreign investors who attended the conference, and confirmed that a green economic policy will be implemented within the next two months, which would be the first of its kind in the region.
The investors who attended the conference will be given legitimacy, and the government is committed to providing them with the necessary support. The green economic policy is not a short-term program, but a long-term initiative that requires a legal framework. The President emphasized the need for legislation to be passed promptly to adjust to the new policy.
The President expressed his appreciation for the investors and their contribution to Sri Lanka’s recovery through the green economy. He stated that he aims to make Sri Lanka the world’s first in the green economy, just as the country has achieved the world’s first in tea.
Highlighting that Sri Lanka has the potential to become the first in Asia in green energy, thanks to its natural resources and the experienced investors present at the meeting, he pointed out the on-going discussion of bringing an oil pipeline from India to Trincomalee and emphasized the importance of cooperation with South India in moving towards renewable energy.
According to the President, Trincomalee has been identified as a potential port for green hydrogen due to its proximity to the North, which has abundant sources of green hydrogen, renewable energy, and strong wind power in Sri Lanka. He added that this would create development opportunities for the country and investors, leading to economic expansion and good returns on investment.
The investors who attended the Sri Lanka Green Energy Summit expressed their gratitude to President Wickremesinghe for the hospitality and stated their intention to return to Sri Lanka in the future to invest in the green economy sector.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabri, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera, Environment Minister Naseer Ahmed, State Minister Dilum Amunugama, Senior Advisor to the President on Climate Change Ruwan Wijewardene, International Adviser to the President on Climate Change Eric Solheim, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, as well as local and foreign investors and other officials participated in this discussion at the Presidential Secretariat.