Kerala govt releases revised action plan on climate change

Kerala is very vulnerable to climate induced disasters owing to its geographical location and therefore, the government has come out with a revised action plan on dealing with climate change
 Pinarayi Vijayan
Pinarayi Vijayan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala is very vulnerable to climate induced disasters owing to its geographical location and therefore, the government has come out with a revised action plan on dealing with climate change, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Wednesday.

Vijayan, speaking at the India Climate and Development Partners' Meet held here, said climate change was fast becoming one of the biggest threats to mankind and environment, and it has become imperative that all stakeholders come together to tackle the issue.

As a step in that direction, the southern state has come out with a revised action plan on climate change, he said.

The Chief Minister further said that the southern state was a front-runner among the major states of the country in taking a lead on carbon neutrality and its efforts have also been recognised by the NITI Aayog in its State Energy and Climate Index (SECI).

He also spoke about the various initiatives, strategies, policies and plans the government has formulated to ensure Kerala achieves the aim of becoming 100 per cent renewable energy based by 2040 and net carbon neutral by 2050.

"Kerala aspires to become a 100 per cent renewable energy based state by 2040 and a net carbon neutral by 2050. We have taken several path breaking initiatives to pave the way for an inclusive and sustainable development strategy that is sensitive to climate change," Vijayan said at the event where he launched the state's revised action plan on climate change.

He said the updated action plan focuses on adapting to climate changes and prioritising interventions to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities against climate induced hazards.

The Chief Minister further said that "due to its geographical location, Kerala is highly vulnerable to climate change induced disasters and calamities".

"Therefore, building disaster resilient infrastructure and strengthening institutional mechanisms for better disaster responses and raising incomes to bolster capabilities of individuals and communities to adapt to local impacts of climate change are important," he said.

This approach needs focused state interventions, international cooperation and multilateral initiatives and platforms, the Chief Minister said, adding that the Rebuild Kerala Initiative (RKI) plays a crucial role in this.

Vijayan said RKI has not only been working to address climate change risks and strengthen preparedness against future disasters, it also facilitates and monitors disaster and climate resilience projects worth Rs 8,196 crore across multiple sectors and departments.

Under the Rebuild Kerala development programme, guidelines have been notified for master plans for urban local bodies and a disaster and climate tracker tool has been developed to incorporate climate risks into the local level planning process, he said.

"Disaster resilience standards are being ensured in infrastructure built across the state," he added.

At the event, the Chief Minister also highlighted various other initiatives, like setting up a Kerala Hydrogen Economic Mission and implement an electric vehicle consortium programme, to reduce carbon footprint of the state, bring about decarbonisation across sectors, transform the state into a "green-hydrogen hub" and achieve zero emission mobility.

He also said Kerala will soon come out with an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) focused industrial policy which would provide incentives for ESG investments to promote responsible industrial production.

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