CapaCITIES Session at World Urban Forum Brings Project Impact, Rajkot’s Climate Actions into Focus

A session on “Transforming Our Cities for a Climate Resilient Future” was organised by the National Institute for Urban Affairs and the CapaCITIES project at the 11th edition of the World Urban Forum (WUF11) in Katowice, Poland, on June 30, 2022.

Under the CapaCITIES project, being funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), eight cities in India are receiving support to work towards building climate resilience.

At the session, Mr. Emani Kumar, Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia, spoke about the climate action plans and strategies that have been developed under the CapaCITIES project, as well as the Phase 1 achievements and the projects identified for preparing bankability reports, technical assistance and innovative financing models.

Mr. Hans Peter, Director, Public Affairs, South Pole, highlighted the major challenges that cities face in raising finance for developing infrastructure.

In recognition of the standout climate-resilient projects that have been undertaken in Gujarat state’s Rajkot, which has been part of the CapaCITIES project since 2016, Mayor Hon’ble Dr. Pradip Dav was invited to speak about his city’s achievements at the WUF11 event. He spoke at length about Rajkot’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and Climate Resilience City Action Plan, adding that the inventory is updated every year and projects are being implemented to reduce GHG emissions through provisions made in the annual municipal budget. He elaborated on the work being done in critical sectors such as energy, transport, housing, waste, water and drainage management, and on laudable initiatives being implemented for increasing the green cover and renewable energy use, especially solar, and for promoting electric mobility and groundwater recharge systems through the support of the CapaCITIES project. With the number of electric vehicles in Rajkot expected to increase exponentially in the near future, Mr Dav highlighted the need for adequate support to handle the sector in a scientific manner. He called attention to the laurels the city has won, including its emergence as the national winner in the One Planet City Challenge (OPCC), as well as becoming the first city to receive all the badges of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for its adaptation and mitigation efforts. Mr. Dav acknowledged the support being provided under the CapaCITIES project and thanked SDC for the same.

Mr. Sreeram Srinivasan, Chief Project Director, Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company (TNGCC), discussed plans to replicate initiatives from three project cities in Tamil Nadu in other cities in the state. Ms. Sayli Udas Mankikar, Lead, Policy, Partnerships and Communication, Climate Centre for Cities (C-CUBE), said that the NIUA would be happy to disseminate the CapaCITIES project outcomes to more Indian cities.