Sri Lanka says open trade could counter climate change

June 01, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s environment minister has said liberalised trade could mitigate climate change, helping spread energy-saving technologies and enabling countries facing scarcities to import to cover their requirements. Climate change was no longer an environmental and regulatory concern and was a growing crisis with economic, health and safety, food production and security dimensions, said Anura Priyadharshana Yapa.

“Shifting weather patterns threaten food production through increased unpredictability of precipitation (and) rising sea levels contaminate coastal freshwater reserves and increase the risk of catastrophic flooding,” Yapa told a forum on trade, climate change and food security in South Asia.

Most sectors of the global economy are affected by climate change and these impacts will often have implications for trade.

Many of the sectors affected such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism are critical for south Asian countries, Yapa said.

“Climate change is likely to alter the comparative advantage of these countries in such sectors and thereby alter the pattern of international trade,” he said.

“Moreover, climate change is expected to have an impact on trad