Sri Lanka pledges no new coal, makes push into rooftop solar


In its latest climate plan, Sri Lanka is ruling out new coal power and aiming to reach 70 percent clean electricity by 2030, an important milestone on its way to reaching its goal of a carbon-neutral electricity generation system by 2050, Climate Home News reported.

In 2019, 35 percent of Sri Lanka’s electricity came from renewables, mostly hydropower, with the remainder of its electricity coming from oil and coal. The new push into renewables is motivated, in part, by a drive for energy independence, as Sri Lanka produces no oil or coal, Climate Home reported.

Sir Lanka currently has just one coal-fired power plant, built in 2006 with Chinese backing. Since coming online, the plant has been the subject of protests over air and water pollution. Sri Lanka had plans to build a second coal plant, with financing from India, but that project was torpedoed by a legal challenge in 2016.

The small island nation plans to meet its clean power goal by ramping up investment in rooftop solar, offering low-interest loans funded by a $50 million investment from the Asian Development Bank, Climate Home reported.

“These solar energy schemes have been implemented across industrial parks, as well, including large-scale roofs and households,” Anoka Abeyrathne, director of the Colombo, Sri Lanka-based sustainability firm Aayusha Global, told Climate Home. “This makes financial sense for both corporates and households as the costs for energy is greatly reduced. In addition, solar power buy-back to the grid is encouraging more people to install solar systems as an additional revenue system.”

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~sYale Environment 360, 17 August 2021


~tAPVMA wraps up 2020-21 with high performance

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has finished 2020–21 with a performance high, finalising 94% of product, active and permit applications within timeframe, ahead of the 88% recorded in 2019–20.

This included significant improvements in overall timeframe performance for:

pesticides applications, increasing from 92% in 2019–20 to 99% in 2020–21

veterinary medicines applications, up from 89% in 2019–20 to 99% in 2020–21

active constituent applications, increasing from 85% in 2019–20 to 96% in 2020–21.

The APVMA also demonstrated improvements in timeframe performance for major applications, with:

97% of applications requiring major assessment for pesticides completed within timeframe, up from 81% in 2019–20.

94% of applications requiring major assessment for veterinary medicines completed within timeframe, increasing from 78% in 2019–20.

The percentage of permit applications completed within timeframe decreased from 81% in 2019–20 to 74% in 2020–21. This was attributed to the APVMA dedicating more resources to support the timely processing of emergency use permits in response to pest incursions, including mice and fall armyworm.

APVMA Chief Executive Officer, Ms Lisa Croft, praised the efforts of APVMA staff for delivering continued improvements in timeframe performance to ensure Australians were provided with timely access to agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemical products.

“Australian producers have faced many challenges this past year, including the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, drought and outbreaks of mice, fall armyworm, khapra beetle and fruit fly.

“The APVMA has worked diligently to ensure the timely introduction of safe and effective agvet chemical products to the Australian market, as well as prioritising the issuing of emergency permits to support producers throughout the outbreaks of these pests.”

View the 2020–21 performance overview and June quarter 2021 performance report.

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~sAPVMA, 20 August 2021