Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed to establish an International Climate Change University in Sri Lanka with an ancillary institute in the Maldives to counter obstacles in implementing climate action plans.
He was speaking at the COP-27 Conference in Egypt on Tuesday (8), and noted that the institution would be the first of its kind in the world.
“This seat of learning can be a global centre for green and blue studies, for scientists, environmentalists, researchers, policymakers, development practitioners, and students the world over to inter-change knowledge, transcending national and disciplinary boundaries,” said the President.
He went on to note that the envisaged climate change university will offer both short-term courses, and post-graduate academic awards to build capabilities on mitigating and adapting to climate change and stressed on the collaboration of multilateral institutions and organizations such as the Commonwealth, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank amongst others needs to be sought for the establishment of the institute of higher learning making it a multi-stakeholder partnership transcending national boundaries.
“It is my hope that Sri Lanka’s proposal will receive extensive support and endorsement from the international community. Since the prescription for addressing climate change have to be dispensed in the global domain, we will meet again next year charged with high hopes,” said Wickremesinghe.
Wickremesinghe also added that fossil fuel-based industrialized countries of G7 and G20 who have been the main promoters of green hydrogen are now backtracking to the use of fossil fuel noting that such double standards are unacceptable.
“Developed nations should be giving leadership to overcome climate challenges rather than abdicating their responsibilities. It is no secret that climate financing has missed the target. It is ironic that the 100 Billion US dollars pledged annually, have not been available in the coffers to finance climate challenges. These countries who are also on both sides of the Ukraine war seem to have no issue spending for a war which will finally exceed 350 Billion US dollars. A conflict waged purportedly for security interests of the combatants,” said the President.
The only security at stake is food insecurity exacerbated to levels not experienced before the war, he noted.
“Many people living both in the developed, and the developing world are outside the scope of three meals a day.” It is estimated that between 30 to 40 million people are being driven into hunger, especially in Africa. This war has also resulted in an upward spiraling cost of living, and a shortage of oil and gas supplies, and it has brought the fight against hunger to our homes. “Expectably, it has led to the curtailment of much-needed climate financing pledged by these very same countries,” said the President.
complete speech of the president