Rajkot has once again proved itself to be a climate pioneer by becoming the first city in South Asia to be declared compliant with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) requirements. The city has bagged all four badges awarded by the GCOM; the committed, mitigation, adaptation and compliant badges, having undertaken all the required actions to embark on an ambitious climate-resilient growth path, based on the submission made to the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System in 2020.
Rajkot Municipal Corporation’s GCoM reporting was based on its Climate-Resilient City Action Plan (CRCAP), developed and ratified by the city council in 2019. ICLEI’s ClimateResilientCities methodology was used to prepare the CRCAP, which includes scientific research-based mitigation and adaptation actions. These actions are now part of Rajkot’s regular planning process. Proposed actions are being implemented by leveraging various national and sub-national funding schemes and also by inclusion in Rajkot city’s own municipal budget. Several projects are being undertaken in the PPP mode as well.
GCoM is the world’s largest alliance of cities and local governments, in partnership with local, regional, and global city networks such as ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (and other partners), with more than 10,500 signatories across six continents and more than 140 countries, representing close to 1 billion people. GCoM enables cities, local governments, and the networks that support them to bridge the gap between climate ambition and action delivery.
Upon signing up to the GCoM and reporting their climate performance on the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System (in South Asia), cities are issued GCoM Badges based on their engagement and progression within the GCoM initiative’s different phases, which are Commitment, Mitigation, Adaptation and Compliance. The GCoM badges are intended to reward a city’s achievement and progression from commitment to planning, implementation, and monitoring. The badges help cities connect with opportunities, resources, and with other cities engaged in the same steps or processes; they are also used by signatories as communication and promotion tools.
Besides Rajkot, nine other South Asian cities – Nagpur, Kochi, Siliguri, Udaipur, Thane, Coimbatore, Rajkot, Rajshahi, and Narayanganj – received inventory compliance from the GCoM in 2020. At the same time, eight new cities from the region – Thane, Coimbatore, Rajshahi, Narayanganj, Siliguri, Tiruchirappalli, Udaipur, and Dehradun – have joined the GCoM, thereby earning them a ‘Commitment Badge’, which is issued to cities upon submission of a signed commitment letter to the GCoM.
ICLEI South Asia is supporting the reporting and commitment by these cities under the GCoM Global-Regional Coordination Project. This is a trilateral project initiated in July 2020 by the GCoM, ICLEI and United Cities and Local Governments, to support a proper global-regional and inter-regional coordination, as well as refine the global-regional interaction by means of a protocol in order to synchronize the efforts in fighting climate change.
Under the GCoM-GRC Project, ICLEI South Asia reached out to its members and beyond to elicit their interest in subscribing to the GCoM’s commitment, and provided technical support to 16 South Asian cities in reporting to the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System in 2020. The cities that were supported included the Indian cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Tiruchirappalli, Panaji and Gangtok, as well as Dehradun, Nagpur, Kochi, Siliguri and Udaipur, besides Thane, Coimbatore and Rajkot, and the Bangladeshi cities of Narayanganj, Rajshahi and Singra.
 Award of the badge under the GCoM initiative is subjected to validation of data reported under all three pillars: Mitigation, Adaptation, and Energy Access Planning.