Sri Lanka can balance growth with environment: expert

July 09, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan policy makers should not over emphasize on pollution control as the economy is still at a early development stage, as it may hinder economic growth and slowdown job creation, a leading expert on carbon finance said.

“Right now I think developing the economy and creating jobs should be Sri Lanka’s top priority,” Matthew S Mendis, president of US based carbon finance consultancy, CQuest Capital said.

“Even with a coal power plant Sri Lanka’s embedded carbon dioxide (Co2) is a lot lesser than countries like the US, China and India.”

Most group of seven (G7) highly industrialized countries were large polluters during their developing stage and still contribute a lion’s share of global greenhouse gasses.

In 1952 the most industrialized city on the western hemisphere, London, was covered in thick smoky fog which was called the smog. The London smog was created when smoke generated from burning coal mixed with the cold fog.

The smog was blamed for respiratory diseases that followed after 1952.

This prompted the British government to take legislative remedy such as the Clean Air Act of 1956 and subsequent new laws to minimize pollution.

“The US is the single largest emitter o