CHENNAI: Though the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has approved the Tamil Nadu State Plan on Climate Change (TNSAPCC) at the National Steering Committee on Climate Change held in New Delhi on March 31 last year, the Centre is yet to release funds for the push. The plan document was prepared by the State Department of Environment.
According to the final draft report, the five-year plan focuses on projects classified under seven key sectors, including sustainable agriculture, water resources, forests and biodiversity, coast management, energy efficiency, renewable energy and solar mission, sustainable habitat and knowledge management.
The document states the financing of the TNSAPCC can be directly taken from existing programmes in the State and from national missions like national action plan on climate change (NAPCC) and from the budgetary provisions for climate change of bilateral and multilateral agencies such as the Department of International Development (DFID), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank. Further, the State can also access finance from the adaptation fund, NABARD being the designated agency for managing this fund in India.
A senior DoE official told Express that several projects have already begun with State government resources, though there was a delay in sanctioning of funds from the Centre. The State recognises the developmental aspiration of its people. “So, the State has prepared a climate response strategy to each of the seven sectors and proposes to integrate them into the regular developmental planning process.”
According to specific modelling studies for rice, the staple crop in TN, it is estimated that by the year 2050 the production during the kharif season (south west monsoon) is likely to reduce by 30-35 per cent from current yield levels and by 2080 there might be yield reduction up to 80 per cent. This is attributed to the projected increase in minimum and maximum temperatures and decrease in number of rainfall days.
However, the production during the rabi season (northwest monsoon) doesn’t see much dip. To combat this, the State proposes to develop varietal rice and pulses that will tolerate weather change and adapt to different soils. Also, there’s a plan to promote integrated disease and pest management, set up food banks, support crop insurance, green cover for coastal calamities etc. On the water front, the strategy is to interlink rivers, put extra thrust on rain-water harvesting, increase reservoir storage levels and limit rampant ground water extraction.
The SAPCC says the State forests are vulnerable and sea-level rise would submerge the mangroves as well as increase the salinity of the wetland. The energy and urbanisation were adequately dealt with. Tamil Nadu tops the list of urbanised States with 48.45 per cent of its population in urban areas. This puts enormous pressure on housing, water, access to health, waste management, transport and pollution levels, the document says.
How the Change will affect us
The study was conducted by Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research (CC&AR) of Anna University, UK climate model PRECIS, which meets the requirements of National Action Plan on climate Change (NAPCC). They predict that TN temperatures will soar 3.5 degree Celsius higher, by end of this century.
A district-wise study shows the coastal districts, including Chennai will be worst hit.
The study documents model projections for summer months (March-May) that show an increase in the percentage of days with temperature above 45 degree Celsius. This has significant implications, as the frequency of extreme maximum temperature show an increasing tendency by the end of the century.