Maharashtra Environment Minister unveils its Climate Action Plan

Mumbai being a part of the C40 Cities Network since December 2020, drafted its Climate Action Plan by the end of 2021 in-fulfillment of the C40 guidelines. Under the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the climate action plan is prepared with technical support from the World Resources Institute India, which is engaged as a knowledge partner.

With ever-changing conditions in climate since the past decade, and now the central government ministry, MoHUA emphasizing on the importance of Climate Action Plan, most cities across the country have started rolling out their individual Action Plans towards this direction. Mumbai being one of the highly-threatened cities with probabilities of dreadful impacts of Climate Change, Cabinet Minister of Environment, Tourism & Protocol, Aaditya Thackeray launched the first-ever Climate Action Plan dedicated to the city, which is to ensure better future planning and growth keeping in tune with climate adaptation, mitigation, and resilience.

Thackeray also unveiled the Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) portal to seek suggestions and inputs from experts and citizens from the city. Citizens can share their inputs and recommendations until September 20, 2021, post which the process of finalizing action tracks under MCAP is expected to be done and ready by November 2021 closer to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

At the launch of MCAP, Aaditya Thackeray highlighted that the main objective of the plan was to create a holistic strategy to tackle challenges of climate change in the city by adopting inclusive and robust mitigation and adaptation strategies. He further added that it is high time now that any action for climate change must be taken, as any further delay towards this will make Mumbai unsuitable for livelihood in the coming decades.

“Mainstreaming climate action while implementing Mumbai’s development plan can protect the city’s natural systems, increase resilience capacities of vulnerable groups, and enable resilient urban growth that ensures aggressive reductions to the city’s greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

The plan will focus on six action tracks to introduce sector-specific strategies for mitigation and adaptation that can lead to implementable climate projects that contribute to the city’s resilience. The six thematic action areas are sustainable waste management, urban greening and biodiversity, urban flooding and water resource management, building energy efficiency, air quality and sustainable mobility.

IS Chahal, Municipal Commissioner, MCGM, stated, “There is a need for changing the way we think about development in the current climate change scenario. Coordinated efforts for data monitoring and management, will help us make quick and informed decisions, ensuring the safety of those most vulnerable in our city – Mumbai’s approach during the pandemic has been exactly this.”

As part of gathering data to build the plan, a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for Mumbai was developed using a global standard tool to identify emission reduction strategies for the years 2030 and 2050. For Mumbai to adapt to changing climatic scenarios, a vulnerability assessment using satellite imagery has been completed to identify critical risk factors.

“Protecting and building new natural systems can assist existing and planned resilient infrastructure like those being planned for flood resilience. The climate action plan can be seen as a vision-setting plan to guide the implementation of the DP2034 towards a sustainable and resilient 2030 vision. The MCAP is neither rigid nor set in stone but fluid and efficient effort to ensure the city administration has a robust, inclusive roadmap for resilience,” said Lubaina Rangwala, Associate Director, WRI India Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.