Statesman news service
Kolkata, 14 November
The United Kingdom and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for development of a sustainable, low carbon and climate change resilient Kolkata.
Mr Greg Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change and UK Minister for Business Engagement with India, and KMC Mayor Sovan Chatterjee signed the MoU.
This comes as part of KMC’s 2020 vision strategy for reducing carbon emission to protect environment. The UK government has promised to share its expertise with KMC and deliver a roadmap for low carbon emission in the city.
The MoU will be the first of its kind and will offer an important opportunity for UK and Kolkata to work together exchange views, information and expertise to address the challenges posed by climate change.
After signing the pact, Mr Barker said the city is extremely vulnerable to climate change due to rising sea level, floods and climate-induced disasters. The KMC is keen to address the issues of climate change through its vision 2020 strategy. The UK will provide a roadmap for the development of the city over the next seven years.
"I am delighted to sign the pact. This will strengthen and deepen the relationship between the two counties," said Mr Barker.
When asked whether the UK would extend any financial help to KMC, Mr Barker said they are yet to take a decision in this regard.
The joint initiative builds on the existing work by the UK on climate change issues in Kolkata. The project will help the state government adopt appropriate fiscal measures in policies and legislation to promote low-carbon development. This will address the challenges faced by the civic authorities in adopting low carbon LED street lighting on a large scale.
The minister has appreciated the initiatives taken by the state government on climate change. "The state government is on the front foot to prevent environmental hazards," he said.
The Mayor, Mr Chatterjee, said: "We are thankful to the British government for sharing its expertise and building a relationship to ensure low carbon emission in the city."