Thiruvananthapuram becomes 29th Indian City to join Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM)

TRIVANDRUM, Kerala: Arya Rajendran, Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation, signed the commitment letter to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), thus making Trivandrum the 29th city from India and second city from Kerala to join this global network. The other member city from the state is Kochi. GCoM is the largest coalition of mayors committed to taking action on climate change. This global network currently includes over 11,500 cities and local governments representing around 1 billion people spread across 142 countries. The cities and partners of GCoM share a long-term vision of supporting voluntary action to combat climate change. Together, they strive toward a resilient and low-emission society. The signatory cities aim to achieve the ambitious goals ascertained in the Paris Agreement of 2015. The signatory city has to undertake initiatives aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, prepare itself for the effects of climate change, enhance access to sustainable clean energy solutions and lastly, the cities have to track the progress of all the initiatives. Speaking on climate-induced challenges that coastal cities like Thiruvananthapuram face, Binu Francis, Secretary, Corporation of Thiruvananthapuram, said, “Trivandrum has around 28 km of coastal line. We are facing some kind of sea erosion in certain places. The second thing is, it’s a low-lying area which witnesses flooding in the monsoon season. We have a state-level climate action plan and a disaster management plan at the city level which is prepared with many stakeholders. At the larger level, we have a project worth 1000 crore which will mitigate such issues.” He also spoke about the value addition that knowledge-sharing platforms can bring in our fight against climate change. He added, “Sharing and getting knowledge of success stories in other cities could be useful. Some of them can be replicated in certain areas. So experience sharing could be useful in addressing some of the issues collectively.” Through GCoM and local/global city network partners, the Global Covenant of Mayors will offer technical support and training and work with Trivandrum to plan and implement climate initiatives more effectively. It will provide access to global city data, research and knowledge, harmonized reporting standards and technical assistance in preparing climate action plans as well as increased access to finance. In addition, GCoM’s global research and innovation agenda on cities and climate change will support cities in developing the science and knowledge needed to help evolve urban areas into transformative agents of change. GCoM-SA will also aim to facilitate collaboration with multilevel governance actors to allow Indian cities to implement the climate action plan in an integrated way, collectively raising global climate ambition to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement. Indian cities will host 200 million more people by 2030, and two-thirds of India’s buildings that will exist by 2030 remain to be built. The country’s future urban planning and implementation will have a decisive influence on the global climate impact of international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.