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India, Japan and UNDP launch a project to accelerate climate action in 10 states and UTs

The launch comes within a week of the Cabinet approval of India's updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) to be communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Image courtesy: Twitter/@JapaninIndia)

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.

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

The launch comes within a week of the Cabinet approval of India's updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) to be communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Under the initiative, UNDP will work with IMD to promote climate resilience and MNRE to promote climate mitigation by:

– Deploying clean energy infrastructure and low-emission technologies in key sectors including Transport, Health, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and Agriculture. This includes solarizing 150 healthcare facilities, 20 micro-enterprises, and installing 85 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations and 30 solar cold storage systems across the 10 states.

– Demonstrating resilient climate planning at the grassroots through climate information flow systems for 30 Gram Panchayats.

– Promote green jobs and green entrepreneurship in sectors like Renewable Energy by providing skilling and training to 2000+ people.

Japan has extended USD 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 for scaling up its support to turn NDCs into concrete action.

"Our common goal of decarbonisation and sustainable development will require deeper climate partnerships in near future, and we are convinced that sectors which fall under the ambit of this UNDP project, such as transport, health, industries, and agriculture, are indispensable components that require interventions," said Hokugo Kyoko, Minister (Economic and Development), Embassy of Japan in India.

"Through the EV charging facilities, solarization of health centers, energy audits, and provision of information on institutional vulnerability to be implemented in the project, the project is expected to benefit not only the fight against climate change but also impact various actors, including health workers, workers in MSMEs and farmers, which will surely lead to sustainable development in India," he added.

The project will be rolled out in the states and Union Territories of Bihar, Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh between 2022-23.

IMD will support the project activities in the districts of Uttarkashi in the state of Uttarakhand, Gyalshing and Soreng in the state of Sikkim, by providing climate forecasts and weather advisories to improve disaster preparedness in some of the most high-risk geographies. It will also assist with technical expertise during gram panchayat planning to develop climate-informed plans.

"IMD has consistently led the charge on climate action and in this project, we aim to demonstrate how IMD’s climate forecasts can be utilized to guide development planning," said IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.

At the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November 2021, India pledged to cut the country's total projected carbon emission by 1 billion tonnes by 2030, install 500 GW of non-fossil energy capacity by 2030, reduce the carbon intensity of the nation's economy by less than 45% by the end of the decade and net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
 
"We 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 to leave no one behind," said Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India.

UNDP's Climate Promise is the largest global climate and development offer of support to countries on their national pledges to the Paris Agreement. At COP26, UNDP launched the next phase of the Climate Promise – From Pledge to Impact – scaling up its support to turn NDC targets into concrete action in at least 100 countries.

Japan is the largest supporter of this phase of the pioneering and groundbreaking initiative and joins the longstanding funding partners Germany, Sweden, EU, Spain, Italy, as well as the new funding partners UK, Belgium, Iceland, and Portugal to accelerate these efforts.

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