Minister of State for Climate Change and UK Minister for Business Engagement with India, the Rt. Hon. Greg Barker MP, and the Mayor of Kolkata, Mr Sovan Chatterjee, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Kolkata Municipal Corporation to collaborate in the development of a sustainable, low carbon, and climate change resilient Kolkata, as part of the Corporation’s 2020 Vision strategy for the city.
The signing of the MoU coincides with the visit of the British Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP, to Kolkata – the first visit of a British Head of Government since 1997.
Kolkata is extremely vulnerable to climate change, since it is exposed to sea level rise, flooding and climate-induced disasters. The unprecedented scale and speed of urbanisation is fast emerging as a multiplier of the risk. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation is keen to address these issues through the development of a Vision 2020 strategy, which will be a roadmap for the development of Kolkata over the next 7 years. Under the MoU, the UK Government – working through the British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata – will deliver a Roadmap for a low-carbon and climate-resilient Kolkata, which will feed into the Vision 2020 plan.
Kolkata and the UK share ties of history. To date, the UK has played a strong role in supporting urban development in Kolkata. This MoU will be the first of its kind and offers an important opportunity for the UK and Kolkata to work together to address the opportunities and challenges of climate change. Photos
The joint initiative will also build on existing work by the UK on low-carbon/climate change issues in Kolkata, including:
- The Climate Smart Kolkata project—a collaborative effort of leading universities in the UK and West Bengal
- A project to help the West Bengal Government adopt appropriate fiscal measures (in policies and legislation) to promote low-carbon development.
- A project to address barriers faced by urban authorities (in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat) in adopting low-carbon LED street lighting on a large scale.
- Potential collaboration with the State Department of Power on harnessing renewable energy in West Bengal.
- Work to sensitise West Bengal Parliamentarians and legislators to the opportunities and challenges of climate change
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