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Dr. Lalanath De Silva to speak on climate justice implications for business

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  • To outline emerging trends in environmental legislature 

Dr. Lalanath De Silva will speak to members of the Global Compact Network Sri Lanka on the environmental justice implications of climate change and adaptation. 

He will share emerging challenges for the private sector based on his 35 years of international experience in the fields of environment, human rights and administrative, constitutional and international law. The Climate Conversation will take place on 17 September from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. at the MAS Innovation Centre and include commentary on Ecosystem Processes by Dr. Nirmalie Pallewatta of the University of Colombo and Water and Food Security by Avanthi Jayatilleke of EML Consultants.

Earlier this week UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned: “The world risks crossing the point of no return on climate change, with disastrous consequences for people across the planet and the natural systems that sustain them.” 

He called for more leadership and greater ambition for climate action, to reverse course and went on to describe the flawed arguments which emphasise the high cost of managing climate change versus the enormous monetary potential available. 

Citing the findings of the recent Climate Economy report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate Change, he stated: “Climate action and socioeconomic progress are mutually supportive, with gains of $ 26 trillion predicted by 2030 compared with business as usual, if we pursue the right path.” 

Hosted by UNGC Sri Lanka with the support of board members MAS and Dilmah, Dr. De Silva will draw on lessons learned from his two decades of experience as a lawyer and public litigator to explain food security, insurance, employee relations and other emerging issues linked to the changing climate. Dr. De Silva is currently the head of the Independent Redress Mechanism of the Green Climate Fund established by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. As a strong advocate of the environment, he co-founded Environment Foundation (Guarantee) Ltd. in Sri Lanka and is responsible for the writing of a large portion of Sri Lanka’s environmental regulation. 

Prior to his current role, Dr. De Silva worked as Legal Consultant to the Ministry of Environment and Forests in Sri Lanka. As a Legal Officer in the Environmental Claims Unit of the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva, he assisted the UN in processing over $ 350 billion in environmental claims against Iraq arising from the 1991 Gulf War and later served for over a decade as the Director of the Access Initiative and as Director for Environmental Democracy at the World Resources Institute in Washington DC.

UNGC Sri Lanka Chair and Dilmah CEO Dilhan C. Fernando explained: “As ethical and political challenges develop around the reality of climate change, every business faces new and evolving circumstances. UNGC Sri Lanka is honoured to have the benefit of the practical experience that Dr. De Silva brings to the conversation in helping its members align with the new reality. We will continue to support Sri Lankan businesses in comprehending the new social, economic and environmental circumstances with the global perspective that the UNGC Network offers.”  

Academics and state and private sector decision-makers are invited to attend the event. 


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