Skip to content

If you want to know how Sri Lanka’s president destroyed his country, read his COP26 speech

July 11, 2022

By Paul Homewood

I covered the Sri Lanka story a few weeks ago. Since then their government has been toppled.

Forbes report:



The nation of Sri Lanka has an almost perfect ESG rating of 98.1 on a scale of 100, according to But the government which had forced the nation to achieve that virtue-signaling target in recent years collapsed over the weekend because it led the country into self-declared bankruptcy, leaving it unable to purchase adequate supplies of fuel and feed its population. Thousands of angry Sri Lankans stormed the presidential residence on Saturday, forcing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down and reportedly flee the country. 


The Daily Caller saw it coming last week:




But if you want to know how Sri Lanka’s president destroyed his country read his COP26 speech:



It gives me great pleasure to address you this evening and I am very happy to see such an illustrious turnout at this event.

As we are all aware, climate change is one of the greatest crises the world currently faces.

The leaders of nearly all countries are meeting over the next two days to discuss and hopefully commit to actions that will start leading us out of it.

In doing so, one of the key issues that Sri Lanka and some other countries will rightfully draw attention to is that of sustainable nitrogen management.

In October 2019, fourteen nations joined the Colombo Declaration on Sustainable Management.

This important declaration encourages nations to develop national roadmaps for sustainable nitrogen management, with a view to reducing nitrogen waste in half by 2030.

I thank the nations already associated with this declaration and encourage others to do the same.

Nitrogen is an abundant element that is essential to the sustenance of all living things.

However, reactive nitrogen generated by human activity and released into ecosystems worsens climate change.

Overuse of nitrogen, especially in fertilisers, has adverse impacts on soil, water, air, and human health.

For decades, chronic kidney disease has been a serious issue in Sri Lanka’s agricultural heartland.

The overuse of chemical fertilisers has contributed significantly to this problem.

It is in this context that my Government took firm steps to reduce imports of chemical fertilizer, and strongly encourage organic agriculture.

Although this action has been broadly appreciated, it has also met with some criticism and resistance.

In addition to chemical fertilizer lobby groups, this resistance has come from farmers who have grown accustomed to overusing fertilizer as an easy means of increasing yields.

This is particularly unfortunate considering Sri Lanka’s rich agricultural heritage.

Sri Lanka was known in historic times as the granary of the East.

This reputation was achieved in part due to the sophistication of our ancient hydraulic civilization.

It was also supported by the traditional wisdom and practices inherited by our farmers in the past, who understood the importance of respecting nature and worked hard to sustain it.

The challenge facing us now is to use modern scientific techniques and practices to enhance

agricultural production without causing environmental degradation.

We require a new agricultural revolution that has sustainability at its core.

Sri Lanka’s philosophical heritage, enriched by the teachings of Lord Buddha, has always

encouraged us to balance ecological concerns with human needs.

Humans must be in sync with nature, rather than work against it.

My Government’s policy frameworks emphasizes sustainability.

This is reflected in Sri Lanka’s ambitious updated Nationally Determined Contributions to the UNFCC Mechanism.

These include increasing the contribution of renewable energy sources to 70% of national needs by 2030, achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and ensuring no more new coal power projects.

Sri Lanka is proud to be a co-lead of the Energy Compact for No New Coal Power.

We also play a leadership role in mangrove restoration and conservation, including through the Commonwealth Blue Charter.

Sri Lanka’s progressive agenda on the environment is despite the resource constraints it faces as a developing nation.

Sustaining such an agenda alongside development programmes is challenging for all developing nations, especially following the pandemic.

I therefore hope that developed countries will extend their fullest support to such nations through development assistance, technology transfers, skills development, investment and financing support.

There is also a significant role for businesses in this endeavour, and significant returns to be made in investments into sustainability.

Sri Lanka especially welcomes investments into renewable energy as well as organic agriculture and is prepared to support their success through incentives and appropriate policy interventions.

I therefore hope that greater cooperation in this regard will be forthcoming in the future.

All of us alive today are custodians of this planet on behalf of future generations.

We must all work together towards ensuring its health by contributing in whatever way we can.

If we all do this in a spirit of togetherness and good will, I am certain we will succeed in effecting positive change for our people and our planet.

Thank you.

Politicians like Rajapaksa love to grandstand on the world stage. But it is always their people who pay the price.

  1. Cheshire Red permalink
    July 11, 2022 6:15 pm

    Tony Heller has covered this one, too.

    5 years to go from paradise promised to bankrupt. All due to the Green Blob.

    It’s essential the Conservatives replace Nut Nut Zero Johnson with someone who holds Net Zero in the lowest possible regard.

    That means Suella Braverman or Kemi Badenoch.

    • HotScot permalink
      July 12, 2022 4:02 pm

      The incoming PM doesn’t need to be an overt ‘climate denier’ now. Braverman has no chance of being elected, nor Kemi, although I loved the speech Kemi gave on woke culture identifying her as a victim just because of her skin colour.

      The pressure on the next PM will come from the likes of those two, Steve Baker et al working diligently in the background, doing all the hard graft to make sure NetZero is kicked into the weeds.

      There is one thing British politicians are masters at, hitting the brakes and conducting a smoke inducing ‘U’ Turn whilst smoothly telling everyone they are still on track to do precisely what they promised.

      It takes at least a year before policies are changed by which time the public doesn’t notice what’s going, being distracted by the issues of the day.

      No one will drop the 2030/205 etc. targets, they will just watch them quietly sail by whilst shouting “squirrel!!!!” as they do so.

      I notice Africa has at last spoken up. Whilst Europe is plundering the meagre supplies of Nat. Gas they have, Africans are asking why their populations and industries aren’t getting first dibs on the Gas they produce.

      This all has a long way to run and no matter the outcome of the Geological Societies inquiry into fracking, we will be fracking very soon as we can’t afford to be left behind in the race to secure supplies for our own country, and the North Sea just wont cut it.

    • HotScot permalink
      July 12, 2022 4:07 pm

      PS. My neighbours all laughed at me when I warned them of what was coming and bought a standby generator large enough to keep essential household items like heating, lighting and refrigeration going.

      Next project – buying some long last food supplies, enough for a month should be sufficient.

  2. Brian Smith permalink
    July 11, 2022 6:19 pm

    However, reactive nitrogen generated by human activity and released into ecosystems worsens climate change.”

    “For decades, chronic kidney disease has been a serious issue in Sri Lanka’s agricultural heartland. The overuse of chemical fertilisers has contributed significantly to this problem.”

    What is “reactive Nitrogen”? Nitrogen is an inert gas. What process makes it reactive?

    Is there any evidence that fertilisers, used all over the world, have contributed to chronic kidney disease? No farmer over uses fertiliser. It is massively expensive and one of agriculture’s major cost inputs (along with energy).

    My bet is that these two statements are just flat out, simple mistruths, or lies if you prefer.

    Canada is about to follow Sri Lanka down the banning fertiliser route joining the Netherlands in this hysterical madness. We’ll see how they get on. (They’ll be coming for us here in the UK next.)

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 11, 2022 7:55 pm

      They use nitrogen when they mean NOx, as they use carbon instead of CO2.
      I’ve covered causes of CKD in another reply below.

      • July 11, 2022 8:37 pm

        It is nitrous oxide (N2O) that is a greenhouse gas, but not a very important one, due to low concentration, little increase from the fabled pre-industrial times, and absence of unique absorption frequency bands, facts that are hidden by misleading statements about per-molecule potency.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        July 11, 2022 9:46 pm

        N2O as a greenhouse gas is not the main or only concern.
        It’s the whole range of stuff they measure or consider as pollution.

      • Peter W permalink
        July 12, 2022 4:34 am

        In the Netherlands, it is NH3 that is the big pain. Not a greenhouse gas, as far as I know.

    • John Hultquist permalink
      July 11, 2022 8:06 pm

      “Nitrogen is an inert gas.”
      True, but that is not used as fertilizer. Have a go at this:

      The issue is toxicity from too much of a good thing. Search it up.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      July 11, 2022 10:23 pm

      Nitrate fertilisers incorrectly used are a pollutant. The UK had problems in several waterways due to run-off decades ago.
      Give anyone a new toy to play with and they will overdo it. To that extent he’s not “wrong” but maybe, like too many politicians, the Sri Lankan government didn’t listen to those who could have given them good advice.
      Now, of course, the eco-activists are no doubt using this as another excuse to impoverish mankind!

    • StephenP permalink
      July 11, 2022 10:47 pm

      If Canada goes down the same route they will have serious yield losses.
      When the prairies were first ploughed up they had a residue of hundreds of years of fertility built up under grassland which initially sustained wheat yields without fertiliser inputs.
      However once this fertility had been used up it has become necessary to get available nitrogen either from legumes or manufactured nitrogen sources such as urea and ammonium nitrate.
      Fertiliser prices have gone through the roof over the past 18 months and are now getting towards £1000 per tonne. No farmer is going to waste such a costly input, and if anything the yield/response cost curve will result in less nitrogen fertiliser being applied which will reduce wheat yields.
      Legumes can fix nitrogen but from personal experience ‘organic’ systems result in significantly lower yields of wheat. 1.5 tons per acre as compared to 3.5 tons plus in conventional systems.
      The end result if reducing the use of nitrogen fertilisers becomes widespread globally: lower yields with attendant social problems.
      I can’t see China or India cutting the use of nitrogen fertilisers. They have too many mouths to feed.

      • Brian Smith permalink
        July 11, 2022 11:56 pm

        It’s the sheer arrogant irresponsibility of the adherents of the ESG agenda that shocks me. Who do they think will feed their people? Magic?

  3. markl permalink
    July 11, 2022 6:21 pm

    The first nation to buy into ESG and Net Zero receives its’ rewards. How long will it take the other crash test dummies for the Socialist revolution to follow suit?

    • Matt Dalby permalink
      July 13, 2022 10:34 pm

      Sadly quite a long time IMO.
      The Sri Lankan population managed to topple their government, but I think that in Western Europe (those countries that were never part of the Warsaw Pact) we’ve forgotten how to get really angry. Very few people are out on the streets protesting about the cost of living crisis, or looming energy rationing in Germany, and if there is a demo people turn out for a day then go back to their normal lives. The closest Western Europe has come to genuine people power was the Gillette Jaunes in France and even then there wasn’t enough support for them to have a meaningful impact.
      I can’t think of the last time there was a popular revolution in the West and I can’t see one coming anytime soon. Boris had to resign because sleaze and partygate made him an electoral liability for the Tories, not because of his policies. It’s sad when people judge a government on what in the grand scheme of things are trivial issues such as the appointment of some one with a dodgy past to deputy chief whip or a few inapropriate drinks rather than issues that actually affect our everyday lives such as net zero.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        July 13, 2022 11:12 pm

        A few weeks ago the UK truckers had rolling roadblocks protesting fuel prices.
        The Dutch farmers are demonstrating by blocking roads with their tractors, and they will not be the first.
        If the price of fuel continues to rise there will be increasing public unrest throughout Europe.

  4. July 11, 2022 6:31 pm

    “For decades, chronic kidney disease has been a serious issue in Sri Lanka’s agricultural heartland”

    There is zero evidence from google that this is caused by nitrogen fertilizers, only cadmium and glyophosate have been suggested, but the cause remains unknown.

    To ban all chemical fertilizers should surely be regarded as a crime against humanity, one of the favourite attack lines of the UN. It is also puzzling why the UN should have any involvement in the purely local impact of fertilizers.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 11, 2022 7:43 pm

      The causes are not unknown, it’s mainly related to various other indications of poor diet and genetics; diabetes, hypertension, polycystic…
      There’s some indication various chemical pesticides etc. may contribute, but I’ve never heard fertilisers blamed.

  5. Stephen H permalink
    July 11, 2022 6:33 pm

    The MMT brigade, who argue that countries that issue their own currencies can never go bankrupt, should also be confronted with the facts of this catastrophe

  6. July 11, 2022 7:12 pm

    There are reasons why Tescos food mainly comes from non-organic farms
    and they stores are not covered in solar panels.

    The dream-gap between greenDreams and reality.

  7. July 11, 2022 7:14 pm

    And the name says it all – Democratic Socialist Republic…

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      July 12, 2022 9:40 am

      That’s like calling something on TV “Real”. It’s not Democratic, nor Socialist any sense, and not really a Republic.

  8. July 11, 2022 7:21 pm

    So that is 2 mad Green agenda governments that have collapsed in the last week.

  9. Martin Brumby permalink
    July 11, 2022 8:39 pm

    It isn’t long ago that our scientific genius former Beloved Leader Boris announced that the UK was going to be the Saudi Arabia of Wind.

    But this was a Go Brandon error.

    He actually swore to be The Sri Lanka of Wind. And Piss.

    How right he was!

  10. catweazle666 permalink
    July 11, 2022 9:15 pm

    So, from an almost perfect ESG rating of 98.1 on a scale of 100 to the army having to rescue the President from a ravening mob besieging his palace and burning his house down…

    Heh, Go Woke, Go Broke!

    • July 11, 2022 10:26 pm

      ESG = Extremely Stupid G… [that’s enough – Ed.]

  11. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 11, 2022 10:09 pm

    Our energy bills increase firming up.
    By next Jan they will be about £2000pa more than they were just a few months back.

  12. Japan T permalink
    July 12, 2022 1:24 am

    Just wait until ESG is applied to individuals and merged with QR Code controls.

  13. Micky R permalink
    July 12, 2022 7:43 am

    If Sri Lankans are dying as a result of the incompetence of Sri Lankan politicians then the politicians need to face manslaughter charges.

    Same to apply to UK politicians if people die in the UK this winter due to monstrous domestic energy prices.

  14. ScepticMeg permalink
    July 12, 2022 8:35 am

    Problems are occurring much closer to home in The Netherlands

  15. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 12, 2022 9:04 am

    Well it’s no 1976 so far with a couple of weeks straight over 90F. Northolt (another regular like Heathrow) was top at just under 90F 32.0C yesterday.
    I’ll tempt fate and say the all time max. record from 3 years ago may be challenged next w/e or soon after, but the prolonged intensity of 1976 looks fairly unlikely.

    • dennisambler permalink
      July 12, 2022 9:16 am

      Funny, it’s so hot, solar is only 6% just now, wind 22%, coal 2%, gas 42%.

      • Saighdear permalink
        July 12, 2022 1:38 pm

        Well aye, I’m looking for a place to say that with all this Climate nonsense: based around ++Heat, ++ Rain, but NOBODY, talks of ++ WIND. as you rightly say: ‘solar is only 6% just now, wind 22%, coal 2%’ All this heat from so little Sunshine over the country AND we in N Scotland have had so much Wind for the past 8-10 weeks: not just a good drying gentle breeze to dry the clothes or Hay, but enough to damage the trees, blow the fruit off, and re-absorb the moisture from the previous night’s ” ” RAIN ” “. Local Weather stations refer to occasional gusts of 5 or 10km/hr …. is that above the steady 30 mph breeze ? Stick your head above the Convertible’s W/Screen or out the window to experience it.

    • dave permalink
      July 12, 2022 9:36 am

      The population of Sri Lanka was less than 900,000 in 1827, about 5,000,000 when it was a jewel of the British Empire, a Century ago, and now the population is 21,500,000. The country HAS passed through the great modern demographic shift towards stable numbers, but too late to save it, for the next fifty years, from being – basically – too stuffed with people.. Great caution and wisdom was demanded from its rulers in this perilous condition, but that it seems was too much to ask for.

      None of this will have the slightest effect on the wrong thinking in our own culture, of course.
      It is always simpler to blame the Devil for interfering with good plans.

      • Carnot permalink
        July 12, 2022 10:35 am

        You are spot on . Too many people and too few resources. The same is about to befall numerous other nations. Climate change is not the issue. Population growth is, and it shows no sign of slowing. 80 million net new mouths to feed each and every year (view the population growth in Nigeria). Covid had no impact on the population growth.

  16. Joe Public permalink
    July 12, 2022 4:32 pm

    Exhibit #1:

    World Economic Forum:

    Exhibit #2 – thanks to The Wayback machine it’s deletion a couple of days ago can be resurrected:

    WEF 29 Aug 2018 “Sri Lanka PM: This is how I will make my country rich by 2025” by Ranil Wickremesinghe Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Office of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

  17. dave permalink
    July 12, 2022 5:54 pm

    ASEAN and all that.

    It is odd how politicians, even when trying to do something right, think that all you need to do is make agreements with other politicians in other countries. They literally have no idea of Adam Smith’s hidden hand; and that the job of a politician is, ideally, to squash any and all attempts to use the power of the State. God, Laissez Faire is buried a thousand feet deep somewhere in a concrete overcoat.

  18. John Culhane permalink
    July 12, 2022 8:20 pm

    The World Economic Forum have deleted this from their site today.

    Here is is from 2019:

    Sri Lanka PM: This is how I will make my country rich by 2025

  19. Micky R permalink
    July 14, 2022 2:07 pm

    ” The World Economic Forum have deleted this from their site today. ”

    That is the measure of the WEF: not to be trusted in any way.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: