A New Chapter in Climate Action and Sustainability: Tamil Nadu Leads the Way

At the Tamil Nadu Climate Summit 2.0, a significant stride was made towards a sustainable future for the state, reflecting a shared vision for environmental stewardship and decisive climate action. 

On February 29, 2024, ICLEI South Asia extended a Letter of Intent to the Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company (TNGCC), signifying a robust partnership aimed at propelling the state towards its ambitious environmental goals. 

This proceeding at the summit was in the presence of Ms. Supriya Sahu, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Government of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Emani Kumar, the Executive Director of ICLEI South Asia. Others present included Rajesh Lakhoni, IAS, Government of Tamil Nadu; Mr. Erik Solheim, Governing Council Member, Tamil Nadu Climate Action Committee; Shubhashis Dey and Siddharth Arora of Shakthi Foundation. Their presence underscored the collective commitment to fostering a sustainable, low-carbon, and resilient future for Tamil Nadu.

This collaboration is marked by two proposed efforts: the development of an Urban Cooling Roadmap and the establishment of the City Biodiversity Index (CBI) for Chennai. These are strategic responses to the pressing challenges of climate change and testament to the innovative spirit that drives Tamil Nadu’s approach towards climate adaptation and resilience.

Urban Cooling Roadmap for Tamil Nadu: In partnership with the Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Forests (DoECCF) and TNGCC, we are embarking on a mission to craft an Urban Cooling Roadmap for the state. This initiative is crucial for Tamil Nadu’s ambitious goal to achieve net-zero emissions before 2070, while also addressing the urgent challenge of heat stress exacerbated by global warming. The roadmap will outline key strategies and interventions to enhance urban cooling, reduce heat islands, and improve the overall climate resilience of urban areas.

City Biodiversity Index for Chennai: In a pioneering effort, ICLEI South will be developing the City Biodiversity Index (CBI) for Chennai. The CBI will serve as an invaluable tool to measure, assess, and enhance Chennai’s greening efforts and biodiversity conservation, setting a benchmark for urban biodiversity management. Chennai is poised to be recognised as a leader in urban biodiversity on the global stage by becoming the first city in India, and particularly in Tamil Nadu, to adopt the CBI.

Commitment to Environmental Sustainability in Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu Climate Summit 2.0 has witnessed a congregation of impactful ideas, and shown examples of the state government’s unwavering dedication to achieving a net zero future. The summit provided an essential platform for dialogue, sharing best practices, and forging partnerships that will drive sustainable development and environmental innovation across the region. As we move forward, the collaboration between ICLEI South Asia, TNGCC, and the Government of Tamil Nadu symbolises a powerful alliance in the fight against climate change. 

Tamil Nadu’s proactive and innovative approach sets a shining example through collective action, strategic planning, and unwavering commitment, we are on the path to a sustainable and thriving planet.

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