Sri Lankan president says reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting sustainable energy solutions essential for planet

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COLOMBO, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable energy solutions were essential to ensure the health of the planet, the President's Office said in a statement on Saturday.

According to the statement, Rajapaksa expressed these views while speaking at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Dialogue on Energy on Friday, under the theme of "ensuring everyone has access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy."

Addressing the dialogue, 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. Transitioning to cleaner energy globally is essential if we are to mitigate this threat in the decades to come, I request countries that have the required capabilities to support developing nations as they attempt this transition to more sustainable energy generation and usage," Rajapaksa said.

The president said sustainable energy development continues to be a high priority for Sri Lanka, and the country aimed for 70 percent of the country's energy requirements to be obtained through renewable sources by 2030.

He said the Sri Lankan government has made plans to transition away from fossil fuels, promote de-carbonization, and make Sri Lanka a carbon-neutral country by 2050.

Rajapaksa 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 added Sri Lanka was happy to be a co-lead of the Energy Compact for No New Coal Power.

"Sri Lanka is encouraging entrepreneurs, small businesses, and community organizations to invest in 7,000 small-scale solar projects throughout the country," the president said, adding that the country's largest wind power farm was also recently inaugurated.

Rajapaksa also said Sri Lanka further welcomes large-scale investments in renewable energy, particularly in solar, wind and biomass, over the coming decades. Enditem

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