Sri Lanka aims to become a net zero generator by 2050 to stop the construction of coal-fired plants

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addresses the General Assembly of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 22, 2021. Justin Lane / REAL at REUTERS

Colombo, September 24 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka will stop building new coal-fired power plants and achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050, President Gotaba Rajapaksa said in a speech at the United Nations International Energy Forum.

Sri Lanka has a target of 70% of all renewable energy needs by 2030.

“Sri Lanka Energy Compact is pleased to be a partner in a new coal mine,” said Rajapaksa.

The government has announced plans to halt construction of new coal-fired power plants, including Sri Lanka, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Montenegro and the United Kingdom.

Renewable sources such as wind and solar, and small and large hydroelectric power plants together make up half of the island’s electricity, and the rest are coal and oil.

Renewable and hydroelectric power currently accounts for about 35% of the country’s energy needs.

“Our goal is to move away from fossil fuels, promote carbonation, and make Sri Lanka a carbon-neutral country by 2050,” he said.

Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya.

South Korea and Japan have recently taken similar steps earlier this year, pledging to stop building new coal. It is the lion’s share of global coal consumption.

Sri Lanka’s announcement follows China’s pledge not to build new coal projects abroad at the UN General Assembly.

China has invested heavily in infrastructure and energy projects in Asian countries such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan and in African countries such as Kenya.

It also discourages imports of fossil fuels in Sri Lanka, encourages electric cars and green investment, Rajapaksa said.

“I urge countries that have the capacity to support developing countries as they seek to transform this capacity into a sustainable energy source,” he said.

Additional report by Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo: Writing in Sudashan Varada; Edited by Aurora Ellis

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