Integration of clean technologies in state policies to foster low carbon growth at the local level
Working for over two years with the States of Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, ICLEI South Asia developed a series of urban climate guidelines that will help build low carbon cities in these and other Indian regions. The papers were developed under “Integrating Urban Climate Guidelines through Clean Technologies (RE & EE) at the State and City level to build sustainable low carbon cities”, a project supported by the States of Rajasthan and of Tamil Nadu and funded by the British High Commission.
ICLEI South Asia worked with seven cities in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan (Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Kota in Rajasthan; Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli and Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu), where a comprehensive energy inventory and an action plan were developed. Based on this analysis of on-ground realities, a report on “Urban Low Carbon Growth - Financing Opportunities for Indian Cities”, a “Framework for Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of Low Carbon Actions for Local Government” and an “India Community Protocol for Accounting Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions” were developed.
The main outcomes of the projects are however the “State Level Urban Low Carbon Policy Notes” developed both for Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The guidelines are released as States in India are requested, from the Central Government, to develop State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC), and translate the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) priorities into State specific programmes and actions. The documents are specifically addressing State government officials and concerned departments and encourage them to include - when developing their SAPCC - these policy recommendations on the integration of clean technologies.
The guidelines have now being submitted for approval to the two states. All papers can be downloaded from urbanlowcarbonfinance.iclei.org
Clean technologies and low carbon cities discussed in Delhi on 18 April 2013
The productive discussions at the workshop that took place on 18 April 2013 provided great input to the finalization of the “State level urban low carbon policy notes” for Rajasthan & Tamil Nadu states.
Mr Ajit Gupta, Former Advisor of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), as one of eminent member of the project advisory committee, informed the audience about the successful completion of relevant outputs such as a Report on Urban Low Carbon Growth-Financing Opportunities for Indian Cities, the India Community Protocol for Accounting Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the MRV Framework and a set of guidelines for the states of Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.
Mr Ankur Garg, Programme Manager of the British High Commission (BHC), highlighted how working with cities is crucial to achieve an impact on the ground and the development of these guidelines provides a solid contribution to the work of the BHC and to advancing low carbon development.
The need of knowledge exchange was underlined by Mr B.K Pandey, Director of State Planning Department from the Planning Commission, who confirmed that States in India are already doing good work on this issue, and such a project allows for the very much needed transfer of good practices from one to the other.
The State perspective was offered by Mr. Ajay Yadav, Joint Commissioner of the Municipal Administration of Tamil Nadu, who commended ICLEI South Asia for having brought back the theme of low carbon into the administration, since often states and cities are too small and burdened with other seemingly more pressing issues, thus not giving enough priority to GHG emissions and their impacts.
The issue of horizontal as well as vertical coordination was raised by Dr. Minal Pathak, Project Advisor and Assistant Professor of Faculty of Sustainable Environment and Climate Change (FOSECC), CEPT University, who defined the project a win-win situation, since it looks at integration between the different government levels, and at the same time fosters a concerted approach between states and municipal departments too.
Another key topic that emerged during the discussion was the lack of knowledge, awareness and capacity-building at the local level. The establishment of Resource Centres, as identified in the Policy Recommendations developed by ICLEI South Asia, was suggested as one of the solutions to fill this gap.
The draft of the policy documents and other project reports can be found online at http://urbanlowcarbonfinance.iclei.org/resources.html.
Stakeholder consultations advance low carbon growth in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu
Stakeholder consultations held in Jaipur on 15 March and in Chennai on 3 April brought together the main actors around the issue of local low carbon growth in Rajahstan and Tamil Nadu. The participant discussed the recommendations currently prepared by ICLEI South Asia.
In addition to a “Framework for Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of Low Carbon Actions for Local Government”, providing details on how to formulate a MRV framework at the city level and helping cities assess their progress towards a low carbon development, ICLEI South Asia is developing “State level urban low carbon policy notes for Rajasthan & Tamil Nadu states”. The successful formulation of urban low carbon policies at the state level will set an example for other Indian states and cities to follow. Stakeholders from the state government, municipal corporations, entrepreneurs, civil society, academic institutions, innovators and practitioners, non-governmental organizations and institutions and project cities representatives met in Jaipur and Chennai and provided inputs to these policy notes.
The final international conference will be held on 18 April 2013 in Delhi, and will serve as a platform to disseminate the outcomes of the project and share the State level Urban Low Carbon Policy Notes for Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu states
Using the MRV: training workshops held for local authorities
Following the stakeholder consultations, two one-day training workshops were held for municipal officials, mostly engineers, from 15 cities each in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The workshops were held to help local bodies use the MRV system effectively and sustainably, and involved writing donor proposals through various schemes and learning how to monitor, review and verify their energy and carbon emission data.
MRV system to guide low carbon actions at the city level
As part of a project which seeks to build low carbon cities by developing appropriate urban climate guidelines for cities in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system has been developed to help cities take low carbon action. In the first week of January, ICLEI South Asia conducted two stakeholder consultations in both states to present and revise the MRV framework, which local governments are encouraged to use to monitor and report their climate change mitigation actions and plans, finances, and to verify GHG emission reductions at the local level.
National-level consultation meeting on Indian GHG Protocol
A half-day national-level stakeholder consultation held on 19 December 2012, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Suryaa in New Friends Colony, New Delhi discussed a newly drafted India- specific Protocol for the accounting and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. This Protocol, titled the Indian GHG Protocol -Community Scale or ICP was developed under the project Integrating urban climate guidelines through clean technologies (RE & EE) at the state and city level to build sustainable low carbon cities, a project funded by the British High Commission.
The Indian GHG Protocol -Community Scale or ICP presents a standard system Indian cities can use to transparently and effectively measure, analyse and report their GHG emissions. This stems from the need to plan climate action at the city level and to allow local policy makers and residents to understand which sectors drive GHG emissions in their city or community, and to respond by developing action plans that address those sectors. The ICP has been developed in line with the Global Protocol for Community Emission (GPC).
Following a brief introduction of the project and the Protocol by Mr. Emani Kumar, executive director of ICLEI South Asia, representatives of government, education and the development sector discussed how the potential and use of the Protocol could be maximized and sustained. One of the main themes emerging from the consultation was one of funds: “We can develop local action plans, but where is the financing coming from?” It was to address this issue that ICLEI South Asia developed a report titled Urban Low Carbon Growth: Financing Opportunities for Indian Cities which discusses the opportunities and existing roadblocks of low carbon investment in India. Another step towards increasing city access to funding is a one-stop web portal for local authorities to leverage low carbon finances.
Mr. Ajit Gupta, former advisor to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) singled out the lack of knowledge, capacity and funds as the three major challenges faced by government bodies looking to go low carbon. Therefore, as emphasised by Mr. Ankur Garg, project manager of the Department for International Development (DFID) said that the British High Commission, the focus of the project is to develop realistic low carbon strategies and a framework for cities. He added that the tools and reporting format developed as part of the project would help cities present their case in international forums.
Ms. Kavita Singh, manager of energy and climate at ICLEI South Asia, gave participants an overview of the project’s progress and the different limitations faced in seven Indian cities: Udaipur, Jodhpur and Kota in Rajasthan and Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli and Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
Pilot activities under urban low carbon project kick off
ICLEI South Asia is helping cities pilot actions suggested under the project Integrating urban climate guidelines through clean technologies (RE & EE) at the state and city level to build sustainable low carbon cities. Over two years, the project seeks to build low carbon cities by developing appropriate urban climate guidelines for two Indian states, plus an India-specific GHG Protocol and a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) framework for low carbon actions. Some cities have gone ahead and issued a tender for the development of a detailed project report and a pre-feasibility assessment of proposed actions.
A state-level stakeholder consultation was held on 9 November in Jaipur to discuss and revise an India-specific GHG protocol, which was drafted as part of the project.
India-specific GHG protocol drafted
Indian Community Protocol for Accounting & Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions (ICP) has recently been drafted based on the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions released in May.
The ICP will present standard ways in which Indian cities can effectively measure, analyse and report GHG emissions. This protocol, once adopted, will show local policy makers and residents which sectors drive GHG emissions in their city or community so they can target those sectors by developing specific action plans. The draft IPC will be shared with Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan for their feedback as well as with other relevant stakeholders in the climate change fraternity.
Financing low carbon action in India
At the Resilient Cities programme in Bonn and a month later at the ICLEI World Congress in Belo Horizonte, ICLEI South Asia’s Executive Director Emani Kumar spoke on opportunities available for the leveraging of finance for low carbon action in Indian cities and introduced to participants a live one-stop information portal which serves to help local authorities access the funding they need to go low carbon.
Stakeholders meet in Chennai for low carbon initiative
A half-day session on “Integrating urban climate guidelines through clean technologies (RE&EE) at the state and city level to build sustainable low carbon cities”, a project jointly supported by the British High Commission and ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability was held on 18 April at The Raintree Hotel in Alwarpet, Chennai.
During the half-day session, project city representatives in Chennai, state officials from Tamil Nadu’s Commissionerate of Municipal Administration, the urban development department, environment ministry, energy department, engineering division and all relevant stakeholders discussed the project and its outcomes. They also shared effective development approaches from their cities, with the aim of piecing together the best way forward.
Stakeholders meet in Chennai for low carbon initiative
A half-day stakeholder consultation on ‘Integrating urban climate guidelines through clean technologies (RE&EE) at the state and city level to build sustainable low carbon cities’ is to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 18 April at The Raintree Hotel in Alwarpet, Chennai. During the half-day session, project city representatives in Chennai, state officials from Tamil Nadu’s Commissionerate of Municipal Administration, the urban development department, environment ministry, energy department, engineering division and all relevant stakeholders will discuss the project and its outcomes, as well as share effective development approaches from their cities, with the aim of piecing together the best way forward.
Building low carbon cities in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu
The first state-level meet on “Integrating urban climate guidelines through clean technologies (RE&EE) at the state and city level to build sustainable low carbon cities”, a project jointly supported by the British High Commission and ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability was held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 12 March at The Fern -An Ecotel Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Project activities are to be initiated and monitored in seven cities: Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota and Jodhpur in Rajasthan; and in Tiruchirappalli, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
Low carbon initiatives could make cities richer
ICLEI South Asia, supported by the British High Commission in India, has initiated a project titled ‘Integrating Urban Climate Guidelines through Clean Technologies (RE & EE) at the State and City Level to Build Sustainable Low Carbon Cities’ in the states of Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. The project aims at mainstreaming urban low carbon actions and leveraging national/international finance for urban low carbon actions. With the aim to build sustainable low carbon cities through the integration of clean technologies, the project cities involved are Trichy, Tirunelveli & Coimbatore from Tamil nadu and Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur from Rajasthan.
Over a period of 21 months, activities will be initiated and monitored in these six cities and based upon this experience, the project aims to form well-informed, comprehensive guidelines for state governments to implement.