India Meteorological Department (IMD), the government of Japan, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have announced a new initiative to accelerate climate action in 10 States and Union Territories across the country.

The project will be rolled out in Bihar, Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh during 2022-23. Japan has extended $5.16 million in climate grant to UNDP India for the project. This is part of Japan’s global support to 23 countries through UNDP’s ‘Climate Promise — From Pledge to Impact’ programme.

At the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November 2021, India had pledged to cut the country’s total projected carbon emission by one billion tons by 2030; install 500 GW of non-fossil energy capacity by 2030; reduce the carbon intensity by less than 45 per cent by the end of the decade, and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.

Joint IMD-UNDP initiative

The joint initiative will support Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) to achieve net-zero emissions and ensure climate-resilient development. It will be rolled out in partnership with the IMD at the Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

“The launch comes within a week of the Cabinet approval of India’s updated NDCs for being communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” an official spokesman said.

UNDP will work with IMD to promote climate resilience and the MNRE to promote climate mitigation. Clean energy infrastructure and low-emission technologies will be deployed in key sectors including transport, health, MSMEs and agriculture. This includes solarising 150 healthcare facilities, 20 micro-enterprises, and installing 85 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and 30 solar cold storage systems across the 10 States.

Resilient climate planning

Resilient climate planning will be demonstrated at the grassroots through climate information flow systems for 30 Gram Panchayats. The initiative also envisages the creation of green jobs and green entrepreneurship in sectors like renewable energy by providing skilling and training to 2,000+ people.

HokugoKyoko, Minister (Economic and Development), Embassy of Japan in India, said the common goal of decarbonisation and sustainable development will require deeper climate partnerships.

“We are convinced that sectors such as transport, health, industries, and agriculture are indispensable components that require interventions. The project is expected to benefit not only the fight against climate change but also impact various actors to lead to sustainable development in India,” HokugoKyoko added.

IMD’s climate forecasts

Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India, said there is a need to accelerate the adoption of clean energy for effective climate action. This process should be inclusive and secure just transition by ensuring sustainable livelihoods and energy access leaving no one behind.

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director-General, IMD, said the national weather forecasting agency aims to demonstrate how its climate forecasts can be utilised to guide development planning.

“IMD supports the project activities in the districts of Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand and Gyalshing and Soreng in Sikkim with climate forecasts and weather advisories to improve disaster preparedness in some of the most high-risk geographies, and technical expertise during gram panchayat planning to develop climate-informed plans,” Mohapatra added.