Climate Change in Sri Lanka - SAR-CLIMATE

Sri Lanka

Updated 4 August 2023

How are you, Sri Lanka?

From misty mountains to palm-fringed beaches and sprawling forests, climate change intensifies threats to this maritime Pearl of the Indian Ocean through rising seas, severe cyclones, and sweltering heat.

Without prompt and collaborative climate change adaptation efforts, Sri Lanka faces heightened risks of increased extreme heat and rising sea levels.

The country faces climate risks such as rainfall variability, rising temperatures, and sea-level rise. It features a blend of coastal and mountainous regions, with almost 50% of its population residing along the coast.

By the 2030s, around 230,000 to 400,000 people could inhabit vulnerable floodplains, increasing to 400,000 to 500,000 by the 2060s.

Climate Change Analysis in Sri Lanka

The INFORM Risk Index ranks Sri Lanka 95 out of 191 countries considering exposure, hazard, vulnerability, and coping capacity. While in the medium-risk class, the country remains vulnerable to diverse climate change events.

Climate change events are projected to cause a 7.7 percent GDP decline. Moreover, historical data show a 1°C increase in daytime maximum temperature from 1961 to 1990. Projections indicate a sea level rise of 0.2 to 0.6 meters by mid-century, significantly affecting coastal communities.

Due to developmental activities and urbanization, carbon emissions are on the rise. Furthermore, globally, Sri Lanka’s per capita emissions reach 0.9. The energy sector, transportation, agricultural practices, and heavy fossil fuel reliance contribute significantly.

The country is committed to fulfilling its NDC objectives of integrating climate adaptation and mitigation into a sustainable development vision. The country has also formulated the National Climate Change Policy 2015, and National Adaptation for Climate Change Impacts, 2015, to reduce climate risks and explore mitigation measures.

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Adapting to Sea-Level Rise in Sri Lanka: Challenges and Solutions

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