The Orissa government, which has come out with a draft Action Plan on Climate Change entailing an investment of around Rs 17,000 crore, has proposed to put in place a Climate Change Agency to ensure effective implementation of the plan.
“A Climate Change Agency is proposed to be put in place to oversee the progress and liaise with the Government of India, external funding agencies and different sectors for the smooth implementation of the State Climate Change Action Plan”, state chief minister Naveen Patnaik said after releasing the draft Action Plan on Climate Change on Saturday.
Orissa is the first state to have formulated the Climate Change Action Plan.
The draft Action Plan, which was released on the World Environment Day, is expected to be finalized by the third week of June this year.
“The Climate Change Action Plan would lead Orissa to move towards a carbon conscious and climate resilient state. It envisages an outlay of around Rs 17,000 crore in 11 key sectors over the next five years”, Patnaik stated.
“The impact of climate change could disrupt the fragile life sustaining ecological system that holds this world together. Increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and more frequent climate mediated extreme weather events could seriously threaten the state's infrastructure, economy, health, and ecosystems. Thus, it has become imperative to take appropriate mitigative and adaptive measures”, he added.
The chief minister had constituted a high-level coordination committee headed by the chief secretary to steer the preparation of the draft Action Plan. Eleven working groups were constituted on agriculture, coastal zones and disasters, energy, fisheries and animal resources, forestry, health, industry, mining, transport, urban planning and water resources.
For agriculture, the Action Plan has suggested a climate friendly agriculture policy, capacity building to cope with climate change, people centric watershed development programmes, developing water efficient micro irrigation methods as well as improving monitoring and surveillance techniques.
Similarly for industries, the key priorities are setting medium-term emission targets for the thermal power plants, promoting the use of bulk waste material like fly ash and slag.
These also include implementing a system of compensatory water harvesting at the industrial clusters, integrating climate change concerns in policies and plans for industrial development, carrying out heat island study for Talcher and Jharsuguda area, training various stakeholders on climate change issues and carrying out energy efficiency study for iron and steel, thermal power, aluminium and cement sectors.