Sri Lankan garment manufacturers, pressured into zero carbon emissions programmes by big buyers, have resorted to setting up hydro power projects and selling outputs to the national grid to offset existing consumption.
Additionally, these same manufacturers have also outsourced non essential services such as transportation, etc. so these emissions do not show up on audits. This is according to Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda, Director General (Department of National Planning), Ministry of Finance and Planning, who spoke at the Sunday Times Business Club at the Taj Samudra on May 26 on the topic of the carbon crisis.
Dr. Batagoda also revealed that, while the international carbon trading exchange was number two in the world in terms of volume (12 billion Euros in 2007), Sri Lanka was not active in this lucrative field even though it had the potential to contribute, as per the existing quota system, and at US$7 per tonne of carbon dioxide, upto US$ 472 million for hydro, US$ 5118 million for wind, US$ 462 million for transport, US$1,293 million for biomass (grid), US$ 394 million for biomass (industrial heat), US$ 308 million for biomass (absorption registration), US$ 385 for municipal solid waste, US$ 1,041 million for forestry, etc.
He also suggested that the country's carbon offset potential was not indefinite, saying that eventually Sri Lanka would have to buy carbon credits from China.
He also noted that Sri Lanka has 85,000 tonnes that would have to be offset sometime in the future and, in contrast, the country had only six accredited Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects domestically, which is out of 2,000 projects in the UN system.
He also revealed that Sri Lanka had a large number of projects that had been rejected by the CDM because emissions cutting could not be proved.