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British High Commission hosts Maharashtra legislators in climate change discussions

MPs, MLAs and Councillors from across Maharashtra today met in Mumbai to discuss the socio-economic causes and impact of climate change

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wind mills

The discussion was hosted by the British High Commission as part of support to projects involving Global Legislators’ Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) and Climate Parliament (CP) that aim to reach climate change and energy issues to legislators.

The Honourable Minister of State for Environment Mr. Sachin Ahir was present and indicated that this discussion would help inform plans at State and local government level in Maharashtra, whether to do with action on energy, water or waste management. He appreciated the British Deputy High Commission on Climate Change for organizing such forum and developing the Climate Change toolkit in regional languages Marathi & Hindi. He said that this work would help in the knowledge being disseminated effectively to the grass root level. He also proposed to form a committee of MLAs and MLCs who can regularly meet up to discuss climate change issues in the state and how can they be tackled.

Mr. Phil Marker, Counsellor (Energy and Climate), British High Commission, New Delhi said:

India and the UK share many challenges in providing affordable, reliable energy and tackling climate change. UK and India are collaborating on accelerating the adoption of renewable energy, energy efficiency measures and tackling the impacts of climate change such as on water resources or agriculture. Maharashtra has been a pioneer in adopting many progressive policies to improve social welfare and tackle climate change. We have been pleased to support Globe India and Climate Parliament and we were delighted to see today, MPs, MLAs and Councillors from across Maharashtra, come together to discuss the causes and impact of climate change. We look forward to deepening this collaboration with Maharashtra.

Rajya Sabha MP Mrs. Vandana Chavan said:

Climate change has assumed critical importance in India in general and Maharashtra in particular given the pace of economic and industrial growth. The severe drought currently being witnessed in Maharashtra is again a grim pointer that reminds the legislators in the state as well as those representing Maharashtra at the centre to put climate change as one of their top priorities. This round table aims to priorities deliberations on climate change issues and make them politically viable for the elected representatives in their respective constituencies. Maharashtra is one of the few states in India which not only has enhanced awareness about environment but has also put in place strict laws to protect environment. Yet protecting the environment has not become a part of the political discourse even in Maharashtra. She further added at the roundtable today we made a good beginning to convince legislators that protection of the environment and climate change discussions could indeed become politically viable issues if they were projected in the right manner. The legislators agreed to identify issues impacting the climate in their constituencies and put those on their political agenda. The legislators also gave their commitment to ensure that the climate change issues become part of the agenda and election manifesto for their respective political parties.

MPs and MLAs from Maharashtra who attended the discussion today included Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan, senior BJP legislator Devendra Fadnavis, NCP legislator Vidya Chavan, and Congress legislator Krishna Hegde attended the round table. BJP MP Prakash Jawdekar, who is also the President of GLOBE India, conveyed his message through video.

The legislators assured that they would ensure that more number of legislators are made aware about the initiative and become members of Maharashtra Chapter of GLOBE.

Notes For Editors

  • For further inquiries please contact Naman Gupta, British High Commission, Mobile: +91 9833919387

  • GLOBE: The Global Legislators’ Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) supports national Parliamentarians worldwide to develop and agree on common legislative responses to the major challenges posed by sustainable development. GLOBE supports legislators through national chapters which provide economic and policy support to develop legislation and monitor how it is implemented. GLOBE’s mission is to create a critical mass of legislators that can agree and advance common legislative responses to the major global sustainable development challenges. With headquarters in London, offices in Beijing, Brussels, Mexico City, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and now New Delhi, and members in 70 countries, GLOBE is reshaping international politics on sustainable development. GLOBE has an Indian chapter and a permanent secretariat. GLOBE has been active in various global environmental forums and made its presence felt in Rio+20 negotiations (Rio 2012), the Convention on Biodiversity (Hyderabad 2012) as well as the UN convention on climate change (most recently in Doha in December 2012). GLOBE supports Indian legislators interested in climate change, energy and the sustainable use of resources in India.
    Director, GLOBE India: Pranav Sinha

Climate Parliament: was created to help the world’s Members of Parliament and Congress to take action on climate change. Legislators have the power to solve the climate problem by passing legislation in their home parliaments. They can also influence policy by influencing presidents, prime ministers and state governors. Climate Parliament is creating a strategy for ‘Clean Power for All’. This is a strategy for global political action to help save the planet. It is a strategy aiming for a faster transition away from fossil fuels to the use of renewable resources in energy production. This strategy calls on those state and national legislators who are genuinely concerned about climate change, energy security or peak oil to work together to take effective worldwide action. Climate Parliament is active in India and has contributed to increasing awareness among legislators on renewable energy given submissions on improving the regulatory framework and financing mechanism around renewable energy. Climate Parliament is seeking to build support around adoption of a national policy to increase the share of renewable energy in total electricity generation to a minimum of 15 per cent by 2032 and to create the right conditions for effective implementation of renewable energy targets adopted by government of India. Director Climate Parliament South Asia: Mukul Sharma

Marcus Winsley Director, Press and Communications British High Commission Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021 Tel: 44192100; Fax: 24192411
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Published 3 March 2013