Chennai aims to become carbon neutral by 2050

CM Stalin unveils climate action plan; focus on renewable energy, sustainable transport, solid waste management
Chief Minister MK Stalin releasing the climate action plan in Chennai on Tuesday | Express
Chief Minister MK Stalin releasing the climate action plan in Chennai on Tuesday | Express

CHENNAI:  Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday unveiled Chennai’s first-ever climate action plan (CAP). The plan will serve as a roadmap for the city to become carbon neutral by 2050, well before the National Commitment of Net Zero by 2070. 

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) warns of severe damages from sea-level rise, critically high temperatures and increased risks from climate impacts for coastal cities like Chennai. Chennai’s CAP reflects a commitment to address the growing climate crisis through science-based, locally-led actions, a government press release said.  

Stalin said, “The climate action plan is an important first step towards a climate resilient and proactive Chennai. Our government has taken strategic measures on priority to protect the environment. The implementation of this plan will facilitate the city to reduce emissions and adapt to climate risks, thereby improving the quality of life of its residents and also creating green jobs.”

Environment Minister Siva V Meyyanathan said as the evidence unfolds, the interlinkage between human actions and climate change is coming to the fore. The launch of the Tamil Nadu State Mission on Strategic Knowledge with components of the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission, Wetlands Mission and Green Tamil Nadu Mission would go a long way in promoting preparedness by Tamil Nadu. Environment Secretary Supriya Sahu said the plan was in line with the Tamil Nadu State Action Plan on Climate Change with a special focus on adaptation to climate change in the context of more explicitly known disasters like cyclones, floods and sea-level rise.   

The government said the plan was developed with support from C40 Cities in collaboration with the Urban Management Centre, Ahmedabad. It aligns with the Paris Climate Accords, setting emission reduction targets of 1% increase by 2030, 40% decrease by 2040 and achieving net zero by 2050, compared to 2018-19 emission levels.

It focuses on actions in six priority areas, which include electrical grid and renewable energy; building energy; sustainable transport; solid waste management; urban flooding and water scarcity; and vulnerable populations and health. 

Shruti Narayan, C40 Regional Director for South and West Asia, said, “Chennai has led the way in showcasing how political commitment and leadership can result in an ambitious and implementable climate action plan - which is particularly of importance to the global south, home to cities with the highest climate risk in the world.”

How to get there

Electrical grid & Renewable energy

93% of total grid electricity from renewables by 2050

Building energy 100% of commercial buildings to use high-efficiency appliances by 2050

Sustainable transport

80% of inner-city travel by public transport, walking and cycling by 2050

100% electrification of MTC fleet and incentivise electrification of private vehicles

Solid waste mgmt
Create an efficient, effective and resilient waste management system

Flooding, water scarcity
As part of a plan to become ‘water-proactive’, expanding urban nature to 35%

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