Climate Change Forum
On the 10th of June 2015, the Embassy of France and the French Agency for Development (AFD), in partnership with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, organised a Climate Change Forum called “Paving the road to the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP21)” at the Galle Face Hotel.
The conference took place under the patronage of Honourable Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Power and Energy, Professor Mohan Munasinghe, Founder and Chairman of the Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND) and former Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Mr Mangala Yapa, Secretary General/CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
During the half day conference; French and Sri Lankan climate change specialists presented the challenges of climate change from the French perspective in light of the COP21 and from a developing country perspective. Dr Minh Ha Duong, one of the lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and founder of the Clean Energy and Sustainable Development Lab at the University of Hanoi, Vietnam, and Professor Mohan Munasinghe, founder of MIND, emphasized the urgency of the world’s population realizing the challenges we face due to climate change and mobilizing together – private sector, NGOs, public institutions, decision-makers, academia and civil society- to limit global warming and to revert to low-carbon economies. Ms Julie Rozenberg, from the Chief Economist’s team of the World Bank Climate Change Group (Washington), presented the report compiled by her team named “Decarbonizing Development and 3 Steps to a Zero-Carbon Future”.
These more theoretical presentations were followed by a panel discussion on “Favouring a green economy and sustainable urban development” with the participation of representatives from major Sri Lankan and French private companies who discussed their initiatives in the field of sustainable development, renewable energy, energy efficiency, green practices, urban development and sustainable consumption.
The panel was composed of:
- Mr Ravi De Silva, Consultant - Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (Pvt) Ltd. (Sri Lanka)
Mr Dilhan C. Fernando, Director - Ceylon Tea Services PLC and Chairman, Advisory Committee of the Sri Lanka Business & Bio Diversity Platform (Sri Lanka)
Mrs Sibila Jaksic, Architect - Signes Paysages (France)
Mr Jean-Marc Langard, Business Development Manager Indian Sub Continent - Suez Environnement (France)
The event saw an audience of over 140 participants from the private sector, NGOs, academia and governmental institutions. The presentations allowed for very fruitful discussions and a heightened interest in the topic.