Roadmap for Kolkata’s low-carbon, climate resilient growth launched

Kolkata, Jan 8 (IANS) A roadmap for Kolkata’s low-carbon and climate resilient future growth, a collaborative project between the British government and the city civic body aiming to create a range of municipal services and a built environment attractive to businesses looking to invest, was launched here on Friday.

British Employment Minister Priti Patel and Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee launched the “Roadmap on Low-Carbon & Climate-Resilient Kolkata” Strategy Document, developed using Rs.10 crore of technical assistance from the British government.

The roadmap includes initiatives like a climate smart city mobility plan, a rooftop solar policy, a master plan for energy efficient street lighting, a climate-induced disaster management plan, and a green city business and investment plan.

The British government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation have been collaborating for two years to prepare the strategy paper which aims to create a Climate Smart Kolkata. The roadmap contains recommendations across 20 sectors including disaster management, health, low-carbon procurement, resource conservation and policy to encourage use of solar energy.

Patel said she was delighted to see the successful conclusion of the Britain-KMC collaboration which has made Kolkata one of the first cities in India with an integrated strategy to lower emissions, improve resilience to the impacts of climate change, and reap the economic benefits that come from low-carbon growth.

With implementation of the policy and project recommendations the city will not just lessen carbon emissions but also attract large-scale investment in multiple sectors such as solar, solid waste management and energy efficient municipal services as well as create more than one million new green jobs over the next decade.

All this will help Kolkata become an exemplar in climate-friendly municipal services, and encourage businesses looking to make sustainable, long-term economic investments in India, she said.

Congratulating Chatterjee, his team and their British partners for this initiative, Patel said she will look forward to sharing Kolkata’s success story with other cities across the world.

In this context, the minister said she was particularly impressed to see how the programme is helping to establish a dedicated Climate Change Cell at the KMC with a website and mobile app for citizens and businesses, informing them about climate friendly measures.

The memorandum of understanding to agree to develop this roadmap was signed during British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Kolkata visit in November 2013.

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