Climate change is now affecting every country in every continent and it is disrupting national economies and affecting lives. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels rising, weather events becoming more extreme and greenhouse gas emissions are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is likely to surpass 3 degrees Celsius this century. The poorest and most vulnerable people are the most affected. Affordable, scalable solutions are now available to enable countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies. The pace of change is quickening as more people are turning to renewable energy and a range of other measures that will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts. Climate change, however, is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. It is an issue that requires solution that need to be coordinated at the international level to help developing countries move toward a low-carbon economy. The historic Paris Agreement provides an opportunity for countries to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Climate change poses serious threat to our State’s environment and has become an agenda for development planning in recent years. The Environment Department has been nominated as the nodal agency for coordinating activities related to climate change in the State. Followed by the announcements made by Prime Minister in the conference of State Environment Ministers held on 18th August 2009, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) initiated a process of preparation of State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC). It is built on the existing polices of the state government by taking into consideration the ongoing programmes and schemes being implemented at the state level as well as the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
With the formulation of National Action Plan on Climate Change through its eight Mission (currently twelve) for addressing climate change concern, Government of Kerala has been working on State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) to address climate change issues at state level. The Kerala State Action Plan on Climate Change was drafted by the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change (DoECC) with relevant departments, agencies and institutes providing inputs. This was endorsed by the Government of India in 2014. Being an important vision document of the State, SAPCC places the climate change concerns at the forefront of sustainable development for maintaining the quality of life of the people of the State. SAPCC mainly dealt with identifying State specific Climate Change vulnerabilities, planning appropriate adaptation and mitigation option to address climate change issues, prioritization and financial option. Its main objective is to mainstream climate change strategies into State Level Planning and Development process and to reduce present and future climate change associated risk of the State. Apart from the various sectoral interventions, the SAPCC mentions the need to have an implementation, monitoring and evaluation framework for measuring the effectiveness of implementation of SAPCC. The document suggests that the monitoring and evaluation framework will be placed at State, sectoral and grass root level. As per the SAPCC, “at the State level it will be done in two ways (i) Directorate of Environment and Climate Change shall coordinate state level activities related to climate change (ii) State Level Steering Committee (SLSC) shall do timely progress review of various activities of SAPCC”. The revision of existing SAPCC with a focus on developing implementable action plans in the wake of recent extreme climatic events is currently going on under the leadership of DoECC.
Climate Change Cell shall be located within the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change (DoECC) to function as a multi stakeholder coordination agency and as well as a secretariat of the State Level Steering Committee for Climate Change (SLSC). It will support the Government of Kerala in responding to global climate change by building capacities for climate change actions (mitigation and adaptation) to make it a climate resilient State through improved climate change governance and services linking climate science, policies and people.
Directorate of Environment & Climate Change has constituted this scheme for the purpose of carrying out specific and in depth studies paying special attention to cost evaluation in relation to climate change adaptation/ mitigation measures with the technical support of Research and Academic Institutions and implementable action plans on relevant subjects/areas/fields with particular relevance to the State of Kerala.
Therefore, the outlay will be utilized for revision of existing SAPCC with a focus on developing implementable action plans in the wake of recent extreme climatic events, providing financial support to the Institute of Climate Change Studies – an autonomous Institution under the Department of Environment, Govt. of Kerala; collecting the published details on climate change from various journals, proceedings, text book, etc.; conducting and implementing projects in various sectors with respect to Climate Change mitigation and adaptation; strengthening the climate change cell including the nodal officers of the cell; forrmation of Local Level Climate Change Cell; preparation of Local Adaptation Plan for Climate Change and integrate Climate Change measures into LSGs policies, strategies and planning; strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity of LSGs to climate related hazards and natural disasters; carrying out programmes or activities to promote clean energy, renewable energy, enhancement of energy efficiency, development of less carbon intensive and resilient urban centres; promotion of waste to wealth, safe, smart and sustainable green transportation network, abatement of pollution and India’s efforts to enhance carbon sink through creation of forest and tree cover; carrying out restoration activities of flood affected areas and greening of good deeds and for supporting recurring projects.