Climate Action Plan launched in Mumbai; urban flooding, increasing heat biggest challenges

Speaking at the inaugural event, Cabinet Minister of Environment, Tourism & Protocol, Aaditya Thackeray said the time for action is now as any further delays would make Mumbai unsuitable to live in over the next decade.
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The first ever Climate Action Plan dedicated to Mumbai was launched today by Cabinet Minister of Environment, Tourism & Protocol, Aaditya Thackeray. This is to ensure better future planning and growth, keeping in tune with climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience.  

According to a release, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is developing the climate action plan with technical support from the World Resources Institute India as a knowledge partner.

The minister also launched the Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) website to seek suggestions and inputs from experts and citizens from the city. Citizens will be able to submit their recommendations until 20th September 2021.

The process of finalising action tracks under MCAP is expected to be done and ready by November 2021, closer to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

Speaking at the event, Aaditya Thackeray said the time for action is now as any further delays would make Mumbai unsuitable to live in over the next decade.

“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 - 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, stated, “There is a need for changing the way we think about development in the current climate change scenario. Co-ordinated 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.”

State Government authorities like MCGM, MMRDA, BEST and others have in the last one year already initiated work across several areas to deal with the climate crisis. Under Maharashtra government’s climate campaign - Majhi Vasundhara campaign - Mumbai was declared as a runner up in various efforts towards climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

To tackle the issue of urban flooding, the city is building underground storage tanks across Hindmata, Dadar, and Parel similar to projects built in Tokyo that contain extremely heavy rain events with rainfall up to 300 mm or continuous rain over four hours.

A new Electric Vehicles (EV) Policy 2021 was recently released by the state of Maharashtra. By 2025, the state hopes to have 10 percent of all vehicles registered in the state to be EVs.

Mumbai's first public EV charging station would be installed at the Kohinoor Square Building, MCGM car park in Dadar, according to the policy.

“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 a 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.

This month, Thackeray also inaugurated Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) Mithi river clean-up pilot initiative with an aim towards collecting and recycling maximum floating debris. This project, will make use of a special machine developed by Finland’s RiverRecycle, which would collect floating plastic waste to clean the river and recycle it.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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