Thursday, 4 October 2012

Impacts of Global Climate Change on Inclusive Growth in Sri Lanka

By Kanchana Wickramasinghe
Research Officer, IPS  

The scientific evidence proves that climate change is a reality.  Despite the negligible contributions towards global greenhouse gas emissions, and consequently to global climate change, Sri Lanka is a victim of the impacts of global climate change.  These impacts are numerous in Sri Lanka and a number of economic sectors will be drastically affected.  As the “National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Sri Lanka - 2011 to 2016” highlights; the major impacts would come in the form of increased frequency and intensity of disasters such as droughts, floods and landslides, variability and unpredictability of rainfall patterns, increase in temperature and sea level rise.  These impacts will have numerous impacts on agriculture, coastal zone, forests and natural ecosystems, human settlements and infrastructure, human health, energy, and industry1.

The increased intensity and frequency of natural disasters and its cost in terms of human, physical, financial and environmental losses have a significant impact on growth. The vulnerability to and impacts of natural disasters also differ across segments of society, which then becomes an additional dimension to existing economic disparities. Natural disasters affect inclusive growth by constraining the participation of vulnerable segments in the development process. They also lead to the diversion of resources, which otherwise could be allocated for pro-poor development activities.