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Delhi submits its climate change action plan after 8 years

Delhi is the last state to come up with a State Climate Change Action Plan (SAPCC), under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The union government had formulated the NAPCC in 2009 and called upon the states to prepare their own specific plans.

delhi Updated: Jan 11, 2019 13:48 IST
Joydeep Thakur
Joydeep Thakur
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi’s action plan to combat climate change focuses on six vulnerable areas, including energy, transport and urban development which could be affected the most.
Delhi’s action plan to combat climate change focuses on six vulnerable areas, including energy, transport and urban development which could be affected the most.(Mohd Zakir/HT File )
         

Eight years after it started laying out an action plan to combat climate change, the Delhi government has finally submitted it to the union ministry of environment and forest in the first week of January.

Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain said the action plan has projected how the climate over the national capital could change over the next three decades and has also fixed targets for various departments on the tasks that need to be achieved.

Delhi is the last state to come up with a State Climate Change Action Plan (SAPCC), under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The union government had formulated the NAPCC in 2009 and called upon the states to prepare their own specific plans.

Delhi started preparation of the SAPCC, following the centre’s guidelines issued in May 2011 and completed it in 2013. Thereafter, a series of consultation meetings were held between working groups to update the report.

Elaborating on the changes that Delhi may witness, Anwar Ali Khan, nodal officer of climate change cell in Delhi government, said, “While the mercury is expected to rise by 1.5 - 2 degrees Celsius within the next three decades, rainfall could go up by at least 20% within the same period.”

The action plan focuses on six vulnerable areas, including energy, transport and urban development which could be affected the most. Targets for mitigation and adaptation have also been set for various departments till 2030. The SAPCC is, however, different from the Delhi Climate Change Agenda, which was prepared in 2009 in the wake of Commonwealth Games in 2010.

“While the environment department coordinated with various departments, at least six core groups with a principal secretary at its head were formed to finalise plans of each sector. These sectors include energy and power, water resources, forest, health, transport and urban planning,” said Khan.

Officials said lack of coordination and flow of information among the departments were the primary reasons behind the delay in formulating the plan.

“The plan doesn’t have the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) which were decided upon in the Paris meet in 2015. All states would have to further revise their SAPCCs to include the INDC targets. The union government is coming up with guidelines,” said Ali.

Officials, however, said the main challenge now is that of implementing the plan. “Now that the plan has been finalised, the next challenge would be that of implementation. Then there would issues of availability of finance and technology,” said a senior official, who didn’t wish to be named.

“This is indeed a very good starting point for Delhi to undertake the adaptation and mitigation measures that need to be initiated in the changing climate scenario. Delhi should concentrate particularly on energy sector, water conservation and drainage,” said Ajay Mathur, director general of The Energy and Resources Institute.

First Published: Jan 11, 2019 13:47 IST

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