CHENNAI: Chennai is the second mega city in India after Mumbai to prepare its climate action plan in tune with the Paris Agreement, and now the city is planning to integrate the climate action plan with its third masterplan, which will guide the development of Chennai Metropolitan Area for the next 20 years.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change, adopted by 196 countries at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris on December 12, 2015. The city action plan was launched by Chief Minister M K Stalin on June 13, 2023, which has set a vision of “Resilient and Proactive Chennai towards achieving carbon neutrality and water balance by 2050” thereby setting targets of 1% carbon emission reduction by 2030, 40% carbon emission reduction by 2040 (compared to 2018-19) and achieving net zero by 2050.
Currently, CMDA is undertaking a city visioning exercise for the third masterplan along with multiple studies across thematics such as built-environment, economy, transport, climate and infrastructure services. Some of the key studies that have been commissioned by CMDA include a green-blue infrastructure study, an urban heat island study, a housing demand study, etc. These studies will provide a robust baseline for the CMA and will guide the preparation of the master plan, sources said.
C40, a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities confronting the climate crisis, will be helping Chennai mainstream the climate action plans into a third master plan, which is being prepared by CMDA. Sources said C40 will help CMDA hire firms to offer project preparation support in mainstreaming climate action in the master plan.
The consultant will review the climate action plan (CCAP) prepared for the Greater Chennai Corporation(GCC) jurisdiction and other national or state-level climate policies or strategies and identify actions that should be prioritised in the third master plan.
CMDA has partnered with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) India to implement ‘Greenprint for Chennai’ under the third master plan. The focus is to enhance the city’s urban green cover and protect its waterbodies and coastal wetlands.
The green space per capita, an indicator to assess urban green infrastructure in the city, is 8.75 sq m per person, which is unhealthy when compared with 9.5 sq m per person prescribed for healthy living as per the World Health Organisation.
“Action plan to combat climate change involves technology and domain knowledge. Therefore, the preparation of an action plan should be left to a team of multidisciplinary experts. It will be more appropriate for the C40 meet to discuss ideological issues and evolve strategies to extend moral, political, legal and financial support to implement the action plan on climate change,” said former Anna University professor of urban engineering K P Subramanian.