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Tamil Nadu gets climate change ready with pathways for different sectors

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Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forest Department (second left) with (from left to right) Deepak Bilgi, DoE, Mission Director, (TNCCM), D. Jayanthi, Chairperson, TNPCB and Deepak Srivatsava, APCCP & Mission Director (GTNM & TNWM) during the Tamil Nadu Climate Summit 2022 & Launch of Climate Change Mission held in Chennai on Thursday, December 8, 2022.

Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forest Department (second left) with (from left to right) Deepak Bilgi, DoE, Mission Director, (TNCCM), D. Jayanthi, Chairperson, TNPCB and Deepak Srivatsava, APCCP & Mission Director (GTNM & TNWM) during the Tamil Nadu Climate Summit 2022 & Launch of Climate Change Mission held in Chennai on Thursday, December 8, 2022.
| Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

The Tamil Nadu Green Climate Change Company will focus on preparing decarbonisation pathways for various sectors; conceptualising and setting up finance models and a climate studio; climate budgeting; and partnerships with local agencies, said Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment Climate Change and Forests Department.

Speaking at the TN Green Climate Change Summit 2022 on Thursday, Ms. Sahu highlighted the state’s flagship missions and initiatives, one of which is the Green Climate Change Company, a special-purpose vehicle to steer Tamil Nadu to become a climate smart state. 

The company’s objective is to converge all climate activities in one place, Ms. Sahu said. The Climate Summit will address three major missions of the state government – Climate Change Mission, Green Tamil Nadu Mission, and Tamil Nadu Wetlands Mission.

Increasing the State’s green cover (areas including forest and the tree cover around it) from 23.71 percent to 33 percent is the Green Tamil Nadu Mission’s major goal, said Deepak Srivatsava, Mission Director.

Mr. Srivatsava said the current decade is for aligning with the sustainable development goals and seriously pushing to achieve them with a “now or never” attitude.

Mr. Srivatsava explained that one of the key focus areas of the Wetlands Mission is community awareness. Translation of the mission’s goals into vernacular languages and following a bottom-up approach instead of top-down will be done to facilitate participation of local communities, he said. The mission director also stressed upon the challenges in preserving Pallikaranai wetland, a Ramsar site and the biggest urban wetland in the state.

Highlighting the features of Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission (TNCCM), Deepak Bilgi, Director of Environment, said the state government has partnered with the Anna University’s Centre for Climate Change and Disaster Management to form ‘Climate Studio’, which will be a single-source data point for all climate activities.

Apart from the Climate Studio, the TNCCM will focus on bio fencing of coastal areas, green fellowship, climate smart villages, green rating of industries and buildings, said Mr Bilgi.

One of the state’s flagship schemes is “Meendum Manjappai”, an initiative that encourages the use of yellow cloth bags in place of single-use plastic bags. Jayanthi M., Chairperson, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, said the government is conducting awareness campaigns and setting up vending machines for manjappais.

The two-day summit in Chennai will see the participation of policymakers, district officials, civil society groups, think tanks working in the environment space, and culminate in the launch of the Climate Change Mission by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on December 9.

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