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Delhi to submit its climate action plan by January 2022

A senior environment department official said that the government has started workshops and department-level consultations to collect the requisite data and assess Delhi’s geographic and climate profile.
Clouds over Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
Published on Dec 12, 2021 12:16 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Capital will be ready with its 10-year action plan to combat the climate crisis by January next year, senior officials of the state environment department said on Saturday.

A senior environment department official said that the government has started workshops and department-level consultations to collect the requisite data and assess Delhi’s geographic and climate profile. The State Action Plan for Climate Change (SAPCC) will be submitted to the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change.

“Over the next two months, we will conduct detailed meetings with all stakeholders in Delhi and prepare a detailed assessment of the city’s climate profile. This will essentially be a vulnerability assessment, which will give details on what constitutes Delhi’s climate,” said the official.

In 2009, the Centre prepared a National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and asked all states to prepare their own plans. However, Delhi submitted its plan to combat the crisis in 2019, becoming the last state to do so. The delay meant that the action plan could not be implemented, since it was valid only till 2020. States have now been asked to come up with a new climate action plan that will suggest strategies to adapt to and mitigate the climate crisis over the next decade.

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A senior Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) official aware of the matter said that the plan will focus on six aspects — water resources, energy and power, transport, forest and biodiversity, urban planning, health and agriculture. Consultations will be held with nearly 40 agencies to draft the plan.

“Each aspect of the city’s climate is being studied and these consultations will help us set small and medium-term deadlines with all agencies that will have to take act in order to develop Delhi as a sustainable city for the next 10 years,” the official said.

Meteorologists and environmentalists said the larger impact of the climate crisis is visible globally and countries will have to act in order to mitigate its effects in the long run.

Delhi’s climate has also witnessed extreme trends over the past decade.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) scientists said that Delhi’s monsoon rains have started becoming more intense and spread over a shorter duration. HT has also earlier reported that over the past year, Delhi has broken at least one weather record every month. One of the reasons for this trend is the larger role of the climate crisis, said experts.

Mahesh Palawat, vice-president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet Weather Services said, “States will have to be prepared for the climate crisis. In Delhi and neighbouring satellite towns, we have been seeing extreme weather conditions and short and intense spells of rain. Urban infrastructure will have to now be redesigned to accommodate the impacts of climate change.”

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