New Delhi, May 5 To tackle the effects of climate change, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) today launched a chapter for South Asian countries and urged mayors and commissioners from India as well as local governments across the region to join the coalition and commit to moving towards a low-carbon and climate resilient economy.
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy-South Asia (GCoM-SA) aims to support the efforts of cities in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make their communities more resilient toward the effects of climate change.
It was launched within the context of the South Asian Cities Summit and with support from the European Union (EU)-funded International Urban Cooperation programme in India and city network partners.
GCoM Vice-Chair and former executive secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, who was the architect behind the historic Paris Agreement, said the aim is to let the cities have a reach and voice on how global actions and policies to tackle climate change can ensure benefit for the people.
"Tackling climate change in South Asian cities is about delivering this opportunity for economic development, jobs, growth, long-term resilience and improving quality of life. It is also about ensuring that we reach the global climate turning point to bend the curve of emission downward by 2020 to ensure the long-term resilience of our cities and other areas," Figueres said.
"The leadership demonstrated by participation of cities in the South Asian regional chapter of the Global Covenant of Mayors is an essential part of ensuring that we grab this critical opportunity to create a better world," she said.
Tomasz Kozlowski, the Ambassador of the European Union to India, said, "Through International Urban Cooperation programme, the EU will support the South Asian secretariat, develop context-relevant GCoM material, support the technical assistance tools as well as promote scientific assessment processes inspired by best practices from the European Union and city networks."
According to a release, Surat and Gangtok today committed to join this coalition of cities. Till date, 14 cities in South Asia representing a population of more than 36 million have committed to the covenant.
It said, "Indian cities will host 200 million more people by 2030... The country's future urban planning and implementation will have a decisive influence on global climate and impact international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions," a statement said.