Sept 23, New York: Pointing out that the health of the global environment today is in need of serious attention, Sri Lanka today called for the developed nations to financially support the developing nations to reduce the dangers posed by the climate change.
Addressing the world leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit today in New York, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the danger posed by climate change is a current emergency and the challenge is universal and must be addressed collectively and multi-dimensionally.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the one-day Climate Summit on Tuesday, to engage world leaders from government, finance, business and civil society to catalyze climate action.
"The principles of equity and common, but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities must guide our search for solutions," Sri Lankan President said noting that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary inter-governmental forum for addressing the global response to climate change.
He said the Clean Development Mechanism to reduce GHG emissions is imperative and asked the developed countries to implement their commitments to the developing by providing financial support, technology development and transfer, and capacity building.
All parties to the Convention must expedite domestic preparations for intended nationally determined contributions, he stressed.
Sri Lanka ratified the UNFCCC in 1993 and acceded to the Kyoto Protocol in 2002.
President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka's leaders have been drawing inspiration from the philosophy of Gautma Buddha, preached by Arahat Mahinda, a disciple of Gautama Buddha, that the Earth and its vegetation do not belong to the rulers and that they are only temporary trustees who have to protect the environment for the benefit of future generations.
Responding to a request made by the U.N. Secretary-General to the leaders attending the summit to present a national statement that will outline a vision to achieve the goal to reduce emissions, the Sri Lankan President said Mahinda Chintana, the policy agenda of the Government, to address climate change has included several strategies.
"Mahinda Chintana, the policy agenda of the Government, to address climate change has included strategies such as increasing forest cover; expanding the non-conventional renewable energy contribution to the national grid; rehabilitating and restoring estuaries, lagoons, mangroves, salt marshes, sand dunes, beaches and grass-beds to safeguard the coastline; implementing a Green Transport System and a Fuel Quality Road Map, and multi-resource watershed management to improve water availability and retention."
He pointed out that although Sri Lanka was able to triple its per capita income within the last eight years its per capita carbon emission is still less than one metric ton.
The U.N Secretary-General has requested heads of state to announce strategies that their countries will implement to reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for an agreement by 2015 that will limit the world to a rise in global temperature that is less than two degrees Celsius.
Sri Lankan President said The Commonwealth, currently chaired by Sri Lanka, has paid particular attention to incorporating the resilience of small states to climate change and natural disasters, and developing innovative proposals on climate finance. The potential for simplified arrangements for access to climate funds for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is being explored.
He said the Commonwealth calls for improved prospects for the developing countries to have access to existing funds.