Pollution levy Bill on hold due to TU pressure
The Environmental Conservation Levy Bill to mitigate global warming,
protect wildlife, the fauna and flora and set up a solid waste
management system in the country which was scheduled to be presented in
Parliament shortly has been put on hold due to Trade Union pressure,
Ministry sources said.
The new Bill proposes to set up a National Adaptation Fund in keeping
with a proposal at the UN Global Climate Change Summit in Bali which
called upon countries to adopt mechanisms to face the challenges of
Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Champika Ranawaka said
amidst increasing threats to climate change, an adaptation mechanism is
vital to reduce the impact of global warming which causes the sea level
to rise, conserve wildlife and preserve the natural resources in the
"The Ministry has launched the Pilisaru re-resource program in
collaboration with the Provincial Councils to introduce a comprehensive
solid waste management system. There will not be garbage dumping grounds
but instead an effective sanitary system will be introduced throughout
the country", the Minister said.
Rs. 600 million has been allocated for the program by the government
while Rs. 400 million will be in grants from the Korean Government Fund.
The 'polluter pays' principle will be followed to penalise those who
indulge in activities that are not environment friendly. A levy will be
imposed on industries and products that are detrimental to the
The Minister said the levy will be used to encourage environment
friendly industries and promote the renewable energy sector.
The renewable energy sector needs to be developed if the country is
to be saved from a major energy crisis and environmental disaster.
The degree of impact of climate change varies from country to country
but the stark reality is that countries with a low economic status and
emission levels are the most vulnerable to the effects of global
Sri Lanka's current emission level which is around 600 kilograms is
low compared to the global per capita carbon threshold of 2,200 kg. Sri
Lanka can increase the per capita emissions by three times but such an
approach would contribute to an imbalance in the system. The carbon
footprint in the US, Canada and Australia is indebted to the tune of
over US$ 600 million to Sri Lanka which has a low emission level.
Developing countries which are highly vulnerable to climate change
are faced with the dual challenge of achieving economic growth and
responding to climate change.
It is estimated that the carbon budget will be exhausted by 2032.