First South Asian city with climate plan . . .
On Sunday, the city of Mumbai in India released its Mumbai Climate Action Plan, becoming the first city in South Asia to do so. The plan lays down a 30-year strategy for the city to tackle climate change-related challenges and achieve total carbon neutrality by 2050, 20 years ahead of India’s national target. The plan proposes sweeping changes to how Mumbai manages its energy, water, air, waste, green spaces, and transport for close to 20 million residents. While Mumbai is the first city in the region to release a plan to fight climate change, other South Asia's megacities, including New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Dhaka, and Karachi, are also preparing climate action plans.
Cyclones and climate change in South Asia . . .
The Mumbai Climate Action Plan was released as an out-of-season cyclone is developing in the Bay of Bengal and heading north toward Bangladesh and north Myanmar. A cyclone in March in this area is extremely rare. But according to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s February report, they will become more frequent in the future. The report also predicts that cyclones will increasingly threaten coastal megacities like Mumbai, which will face the increased and combined threat of rising sea levels and extreme weather events and need to be at the centre of the fight against climate change.
The importance of cities in fighting climate change . . .
Cities are a cause but also a key element in fighting climate change. With the majority of the global population living in urban centres, cities are responsible for many activities that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, such as public transportation, land use, construction, housing, and industrial development. As such, climate action from cities is essential in curbing global CO2 emissions. It remains to be seen if Mumbai's plan will have the expected effects and allow the city to meet its reduction targets. Regardless, it is a welcome initiative that will profoundly affect the city’s future development and help India meet its national reduction targets.
- The Atlantic: Climate change stressing Mumbai to its limit
- Scientific American: Adapting to climate change: Lessons from Bangladesh
- South China Morning Post: Mumbai: First South Asian city to set net-zero carbon emissions timeline and detailed plans