The Government of Gujarat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the 20th of January 2021 with the Implementing Agency (IA) of the CapaCITIES project to formalise cooperation with the urban development and climate change departments of the state.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is supporting the implementation of the second phase of the CapaCITIES project in two states – Gujarat and Tamil Nadu – and eight cities in India (Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Tiruchirappalli, Siliguri and Udaipur).
The MoU was signed in the presence of Dr. Ralf Heckner, Honourable Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan, Dr. Jonathan Demenge, Head of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Ms Sakshi C Dasgupta, Senior Thematic Advisor, SDC. Mr. Mukesh Puri, Additional Chief Secretary and Secretary, Urban Development and Urban Housing Department, Government of Gujarat and Mr. S J Haider, Principal Secretary, Climate Change Department, Government of Gujarat, signed the MoU on behalf of the two nodal departments that would oversee the implementation of this project. Mr. Emani Kumar, Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia, signed the MoU on behalf of the project’s IA.
Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Vadodara, represented by their respective municipal commissioners, have also entered into an MoU with the project’s IA and the above-mentioned Gujarat government departments, to formalise the project’s execution in these cities.
The first phase of the CapaCITIES project (2016-2019) successfully achieved its stated goal of enabling a lower greenhouse gas emissions growth path and enhancing resilience to climate change in four cities in India (Rajkot, Coimbatore, Siliguri and Udaipur).
In the second phase (2019-2023), the project aims to “mainstream climate action in select Indian cities and states by enhancing capacities to adopt integrated climate-resilient planning, design innovative finance mechanisms and develop climate-resilient infrastructure,” by drawing largely from Swiss expertise and translating it for the Indian context, with support from partners in India. The IA of the project comprise two Swiss entities – South Pole Carbon Asset Management and econcept – and an Indian partner, ICLEI South Asia. The National Institute of Urban Affairs is the knowledge partner of the project.
Rajkot city had made significant strides in its journey towards achieving climate resilience with the support of the project in Phase I. In the second phase, the project has already provided support to all the smart cities of Gujarat in reporting to the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework, a flagship initiative of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, and will continue to work with the state government and project cities to mainstream climate change mitigation and adaptation into development policies. The project will provide technical support for the development of innovative financing models to ascertain large-scale deployment of climate-resilient infrastructure and the preparation of relevant policies. Pilot projects that demonstrate innovative climate action and financing mechanisms will also be implemented.