Sustainability

Sri Lanka’s Graphite and Turning Tides in International Electric Vehicle Value Chains

The global demand for Electric Vehicles (EVs) is projected to reach a staggering 80 million units by 2050, with the United States (US) alone expected to demand one million of these annually. This rising global demand will lead to a hike in the need for natural and synthetic graphite. Considering the US imposing restrictions on Chinese imports, non-Chinese graphite suppliers, including Sri Lanka stand to gain. A recent IPS publication launch and discussion event titled ‘Trade Wars in Electric Vehicle Supply Chains: A Win for Sri Lanka’s Graphite Industry?’ featured an engaging discussion with key figures in Sri Lanka’s mineral and EV component manufacturing industry. This article is based on the discussion highlighting implications and opportunities for the country’s graphite industry.

Sri Lanka’s Graphite: A Potential Player in the Global Electric Vehicle Revolution

Sri Lanka has a rich history of mining and exporting graphite, which thrived during the World Wars, hitting 35,000 metric tons in annual exports. The vein graphite produced by Sri Lanka stands out for its remarkable purity, flawless crystal structure, and strong electrical conductivity, making it suitable for various commercial uses. However, in 2023, only 2,792 metric tons were exported, yielding approximately USD 6 million in revenue. The emerging trend towards electromobility on a global scale presents fresh opportunities to revive Sri Lanka’s graphite industry. The newly established Chamber for Mineral Exporters has also emphasised the importance of well-defined policies to harness the untapped potential of the mineral sector.

Sri Lanka’s Palm Oil Industry: Balancing Economic Benefits and Environmental Sustainability

The palm oil industry in Sri Lanka has been a vital policy initiative aimed at reducing palm oil imports and boosting the economy. Oil palm cultivation was allowed initially to reduce reliance on imported palm oil, but concerns over environmental and health impacts led to a decision to phase out cultivation within ten years. In this Q&A Explainer with Author, Dr Erandathie Pathiraja, Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS), provides valuable insights into the recently published IPS study, ‘Palm Oil Industry in Sri Lanka: An Economic Analysis’. Dr Pathiraja shares her perspectives on the reasons behind the ban on oil palm cultivation, the potential impact on the economy and environment, the industry’s economic contributions, environmental concerns and their mitigation, health issues related to edible oil consumption, and alternative solutions to meet the local edible oil demand. The study authored by Dr. Erandathie Pathiraja, Ruwan Samaraweera, Hiruni Fernando, and Jaan Bogodage, offers a comprehensive analysis of the economic and environmental impacts of the palm oil industry in Sri Lanka.

Latest Edition of Talking Economics Digest Now Online! – Creating a Knowledge-based Economy

As Sri Lanka is looking to reform its education sector, the 16th Edition of the Talking Economics Digest centers on the theme of ‘Creating a Knowledge-based Economy.’

Research-based Inputs: Key to Climate Adaptation in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka had climbed to the fourth place among countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2016, according to the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI). This means that appropriate climate policies are more important than ever before. In an effort enhance its role in climate policy research, IPS conducted a policy engagement forum this year. The deliberations at the forum reiterated that timely, comprehensive, and evidence-based research is a key pillar in mitigating the impacts of climate change.