National and International partners came together in Bengaluru to discuss “Mainstreaming Climate Action in Cities”, in an effort to shape G20 priorities and develop next steps for accelerating climate action in India and beyond. Three of the six current U20 priority areas (accelerating climate finance, ensuring water security, and encouraging environmentally responsive behavior), were the matter of contention.
Participants concurred that it is necessary for cities to accelerate climate action and receive added support from national governments and international investors to address vulnerabilities due to increasing heat and rainfall. They deliberated that the city governments should consider climate impacts when making budgeting decisions, while leveraging public-private partnerships, municipal green bonds and other innovative financing mechanisms where available. Climate action plans should address water security and resilience; institutional and regulatory reforms should be considered where needed to protect and revitalize vulnerable water resources, mainstream integrated urban water resource management, ensure equitable and safe access to water and reduce risk from water-related hazards like flooding.
“To create sustainable cities, innovative and inclusive city design is crucial. Without it, behavior nudges and policy changes would not work. Let’s tweak policies, implement congestion pricing, and give incentives for sustainable living. We must also broaden the agenda and create neighborhoods where people can step out and enjoy the city. Telangana’s cool roof policy is a great example. Let’s demystify climate finance for a better future.” said Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Smart Cities Mission Director of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.