Friday, November 16, 2012

Sri Lanka hosts Climate Parliament meeting to promote renewable energy

* Sri Lanka hosts Climate Parliament meeting to promote renewable energy

Fri, Nov 16, 2012,

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 16, Colombo: Parliamentarians from ten Asian, African and Middle
Eastern countries will meet today in the southern resort town of
Wadduwa to discuss ways to tackle climate change by promoting
renewable energy.

The meeting will bring legislators from South Africa, India, the UK,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Congo Brazzaville, Senegal, Lebanon,
Tunisia and Morocco together for a three-day meeting from November 16
to 18.

The meeting is organized by the Climate Parliament, an international
cross-party network of legislators committed to action on climate
change, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The conference, funded by the European Union is part of a US$ 4
million (Euro 3.1 million) global project aimed at helping
parliamentarians from developing countries to fight climate change and
stamp out poverty through parliamentary action.

It will focus on regional electricity trading, the potential of
sustainable investment for cutting carbon emissions, fighting poverty,
and driving economic growth in South Asia and across the developing

"As we surely know when living in Asia climate change is a real threat
disproportionately affecting the poor," says Butchaiah Gadde, a
climate mitigation expert at the UNDP.

Sri Lanka this year experienced a fair share of the climate change
with a prolonged drought, which destroyed the crops and emptied the
hydropower reservoirs forcing the country to use more thermal energy,
followed by the unusually heavy monsoon rains brought on by cyclonic

"One of the best solutions for climate change is to invest in energy
access projects combined with productive and income-generating uses
where renewable energy is part of the solution," he suggests.

Sir Graham Watson, Chairman of Climate Parliament, suggests that
improving access to energy in South-Asia is the development of a
supergrid - a network of electricity superhighways that would link up
wind, solar, and hydropower plants and allow energy trading between
regional neighbors, to provide reliable and 100% renewable electricity
for all.

"But a supergrid needs multilateral action from governments across the
region. That's why MPs from across the region and beyond are calling
on governments to invest just 1% of their budgets into renewable
energy and supergrids, and organizing an international network of MPs
who can press for action in their national parliaments," he says.

Countries such as Bangladesh and India have already begun to make
progress towards the renewable energy transition. India has raised its
renewable energy target from 6.4% to 15%, and the 15% is included in
India's national Five Year Plan.

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