India is ranked seventh among the ten most affected countries by the impacts of climate related extreme weather events (Global Climate Risk Index, 2021). As the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), the country accounts for about 7% of the global GHG emissions. Therefore, India is a critical actor with regard to dealing with climate change related issues.
Rapid urbanisation poses significant challenges for the development of urban infrastructure, basic services and housing in India. High economic growth rates go hand in hand with an increase in urban population, changing consumption and mobility patterns. It is projected that the urban population in India surpasses 50% by 2050. As a consequence, Indian cities are causing increased GHG emissions and are becoming increasingly significant for Indian climate change policies. However, local capacities for efficient implementation of urban climate strategies are limited.
As a response to these challenges, the Government of India has introduced the ambitious Smart Cities Mission as part of a larger programme package for urban development in June 2015. Furthermore, following the Paris Agreements in 2014, India declared in their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to reduce the emission intensity by 33-35% compared to the 2005 levels by 2030. The development of climate resilient urban centres using the Smart Cities Mission.
The ClimateSmart Cities project works towards developing and intergrating Urban Planning, Green Cover & Biodiversity, Mobility & Improved Air Quality, Enenrgy & Green Buildings, Water & Used water Management, Basic Amenities and Good Governance in its partner cities.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and GIZ jointly work on implementing the Government of India’s Smart City Mission, to optimize the national orientation framework and disseminate practice-proven approaches on sustainable urban development.
Specifically, the ClimateSmart Cities (CSC) project works with the three Smart Cities of Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore and Kochi and their respective state governments of Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
In consultation with these partner cities, five specific thematic areas were identified for on-ground interventions:
- Green Buildings
- Green Cover
- Construction and Demolition Waste
- Storm Water Drainage Management
- Solid Waste Management
The three partner cities, based on their respective concerns, identify areas that need to be worked on. Through the collaborative efforts of various project partners, the project aims to monitor and mitigate GHG emissions and implement climate smart-friendly solutions for infrastructure and area-based development. The ClimateSmart Cities project implementation is at the city, state and national level, with interventions designed to address specific objectives.