Honourable Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan, Dr. Ralf Heckner submitted a Letter of Intent to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on the 25th of October, 2021, extending support and cooperation to enhance climate-resilient development in Tamil Nadu. To this effect, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supported CapaCITIES Project (Phase – II) will partner with the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission (TNCCM).
The “Capacity Building Project on Low Carbon and Climate Resilient City Development in India – CapaCITIES II” is supporting two Indian States (Tamil Nadu & Gujarat) and 8 Indian Cities to mainstream climate action. The project is jointly implemented by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia and the South Pole and econcept from Switzerland.
Phase I (2016-2019) of the project was successfully implemented in 4 cities in India (Rajkot, Coimbatore, Siliguri, and Udaipur); project cities received support to lower greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change. Under Phase – II, the Govt of Tamil Nadu (Dept. of Environment, Climate Change and Forests and Dept. of Municipal Administration and Water Supply) at the State level and the City Corporations of Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, and Tirunelveli are supported under the CapaCITIES Project Phase – II (2019-2023).
Dr. Heckner praised the climate resilience initiatives taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu, under the leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. M.K. Stalin, and proposed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the CapaCITIES Project to formalize the project cooperation with the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forests (DoECCF).
While appreciating the support by SDC and ICLEI South Asia, Ms. Supriya Sahu emphasized Tamil Nadu’s plans to develop District Climate Resilience Plans for 14 coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and integrate them into the TN State Action Plan for Climate Change (TNSAPCC); the State also intends to introduce a new Climate Budget for the State of Tamil Nadu. She has appreciated ICLEI South Asia for facilitating this knowledge exchange opportunities between the Government of Switzerland and the Government of Tamil Nadu and promoting the climate actions of Tamil Nadu to the national and international level.
In addition, the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration (CMA) and also the three project cities (represented by their respective Corporation Commissioners) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the project, represented by ICLEI South Asia, in March 2021.
Mr. Emani Kumar, ICLEI South Asia, indicated that the project will also support a Project Management Unit (PMU) under DoECCF to spearhead multi-departmental and multi-level climate collaboration to fight climate change and achieve the goals and targets set under the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission (TNCCM).
In addition, this project also supports the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) to mainstream climate action by preparing Climate Resilient City Action Plans (CRCAP) and also provides technical support to pilot climate-resilient infrastructure projects, preparation of relevant policies, and innovative financing models. This will pave way for TN cities to achieve carbon neutrality and become model Indian cities for the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience Campaigns launched by UN Climate Change.
Enabling Multi-Level Climate Governance (MLCG), the project team provides support to all 11 TN smart cities in reporting to the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) under the Smart Cities Mission implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.
With support from the CapaCITIES project, in 2018, Coimbatore city prepared a Climate-Resilient City Action Plan (CRCAP) (2018-2023) and implemented a 1.5 TPD biomethanation facility for processing biodegradable municipal solid waste and a sensor-based air quality monitoring system.