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06 December 2017

Lanka can unlock US$ 18 bn as climate-smart investments - IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has estimated that Sri Lanka can envisage a total climate-smart investment opportunity of $18 billion during 2018 to 2030.

In a survey conducted under the theme ‘Climate Investment Opportunities in South Asia’ it states that Sri Lanka has an US$ 2.5 billion investment opportunity for Renewable energy power generation.

The IFC says that US$ 8.4 billion opportunity has opened up for Green Buildings. This is to meet the government’s policy objective of conservation and effective use of energy, as well as the country’s housing and commercial construction needs.

The country has an internal labeling system for buildings, in addition to 78 buildings registered or certified through international channels. As a result, both commercial and residential green penetration is forecast to be higher than other countries in the region.

Another mega sector for investment is in the transport infrastructure sector where the estimate is US$ 326 million to catalyze a modal shift towards mass public transport.

Another area where an US$ 2.7 billion opportunity awaits is climate-smart unban water and wastewater management.

ITF predicts that US$ 3.5 billion opportunity waits for municipal solid waste management.

The collapse of a waste dump in Colombo in 2017 has led to a surge in efforts to address solid waste management issues in Sri Lanka.

Smart agriculture investments for Sri Lanka from 2018 to 2030 are expected to reach US$ 964 million. These are for investments in improving productivity, innovative technology and resilient seed varieties as per government priorities.IFC says that opportunities for private investment will widen as Sri Lanka pursues deeper global economic integration through export-oriented production.

Meanwhile IFC says that the South Asian region by fully meeting the national targets they set under the Paris Agreement, can unlock $3.4 trillion of climate-smart investment opportunities.

South Asia has among the highest economic growth rates in the world and represents a little over 7 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. Six countries in the region Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka have enormous untapped opportunities in climate-smart investing in sectors including renewable energy, transport, green buildings, urban wastewater, climate-smart agriculture, and municipal solid waste management. Two sectors stand out for future growth: due to rapid urbanization, green buildings represent an investment potential totaling more than US$1.5 trillion across South Asia between 2018 and 2030; and green transport infrastructure and electric vehicles create an opportunity of over US $950 billion till 2030.