SLEMA Annual Sessions 2018 was successfully held on 3rd August 2018 at Orchid Room, BMICH. The goal of SLEMA Annual Sessions is to provide an opportunity to its membership and other interested individuals and organizations to get exposed to a timely and relevant topic addressed from different viewpoints by relevant experts. This year also, the SLEMA Annual Sessions brought together a large number of SLEMA members and energy sector experts.
For Annual Sessions 2018, a topic with a growing importance; “Energy and Climate Change: The Unfolding Future” had been selected and the relevance of the topic to a wide audience was apparent from the large number of members and guests that attended the event.
With the customary lighting of the traditional oil lamp followed by the welcome address by the president of SLEMA, Mr. Ronald Comester, the annual event was officially inaugurated. The Chief Guest of this year’s Sessions, Dr. B.M.S Batagoda, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, delivered the keynote address. Four distinguished speakers shared their views and knowledge under different aspects related to the topic;
Mr. Buddika Hemashantha, a climate change and energy professional in Sri Lanka with substantial international experience talked on the global trends in energy sector, trends on climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the global GHG emission reduction targets and policies. He further explained the status of achieving global GHG emission reduction targets as a means of achieving low emission development.
The presentation by Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, the managing director of Resource Management Associates (Pvt) Ltd and a former president of SLEMA, presented the emission inventory of Sri Lanka and the share of emissions from energy related activities. After discussing various policy targets set in different documents, he presented the options available for Sri Lanka to meet its GHG emission reduction targets.
Mr. Gamini Senanayake, an eminent professional in the Sri Lankan energy sector, talked on the Paris Agreement and the importance of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in detail. His presentation covered commitments of Sri Lanka and other countries to reduce GHG emissions.
Dr. Priyantha Wijayatunga, Director, South Asia Energy Division, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and a former president of SLEMA pointed out the fact that strategies of donor agencies are now focused on tackling the climate change issue, and countries like Sri Lanka must focus on cleaner technologies for power generation in order to access the financing sources with concessionary interest rates.
The panel discussion held after the four presentations, which was moderated by Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala, allowed the audience to get further clarifications from the speakers. The event was concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by SLEMA Joint Secretary, Mr. Swetha Perera.