The President expressed these views while speaking at the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy.
The High-Level Dialogue on Energy commenced in New York yesterday (24) in parallel to the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly under the theme “Ensuring everyone has access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.”
Addressing the High-Level Dialogue, President Rajapaksa said the global community should give the highest priority to maintain the health of the planet while fulfilling human needs.
The threats posed by human induced climate change to the planet can no longer be ignored. The President said transitioning to cleaner energy globally is essential if we are to mitigate this threat in the decades to come, and requested the countries that have the required capabilities to support developing nations as they attempt this transition to more sustainable energy generation and usage.
Sustainable energy development continues to be a high priority for Sri Lanka. The President said the target is for 70% of the country’s energy requirements to be obtained through renewable sources by 2030 and that the government has made plans to transition away from fossil fuels, promote de-carbonization, and make Sri Lanka a carbon neutral country by 2050.
The President said Sri Lanka’s commitment not to construct any new coal power plants is reflected in its Nationally Determined Contributions to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and also said Sri Lanka is happy to be a co-lead of the Energy Compact for No New Coal Power.
Sri Lanka is encouraging entrepreneurs, small businesses, and community organisations to invest in 7,000 small scale solar projects throughout the country and the President said the country’s largest wind power farm was also recently inaugurated.
President Rajapaksa also said Sri Lanka further welcomes large scale investments in renewable energy, particularly in solar, wind and biomass, over the coming decades.