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UNEP/Canada: India’s Bihar State will pursue a climate resilient and low-carbon development pathway with the support of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the two entities announced today. UNEP will provide an array of support for the state’s climate goals, including through advocacy, developing climate analyses and supporting its government’s capacity to handle climate-related issues.
Image credit: UNEP
With an average of over 10 percent annual growth, Bihar has registered a higher growth than the Indian economy in the three years preceding 2019/20. However, Bihar is also a state that is vulnerable to climate change, which threatens to undermine its developmental efforts, according to the 2019-20 Bihar Economic Survey- a shift towards more sustainable development is imperative for the state’s continued economic growth.
Under the partnership, UNEP will support the state of Bihar in preparing a greenhouse gas inventory and carbon footprint analyses. UNEP will also help develop climate impact vulnerability assessments and increasing capacity of Bihar’s government departments to deal with climate-related issues. The partnership will also involve revising Bihar’s State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC), under which Bihar’s climate priorities converge with India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.
Subnational governments have a key role to play in identifying and addressing local adaptation and mitigation measures, and the local impacts of climate change. The importance of subnational governments in the climate arena has been increasingly recognized over the past several years, most notably in the Paris Agreement itself. At the signing today, Dipak Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of Environment, Forest & Climate Change reiterated the commitment of the Bihar State Government to a cleaner environment.
This UNEP-supported initiative by the Government of Bihar will also pave the way for other states to embark on this journey of climate resilience and low carbon development.
Babul Supriyo, Minister of State, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said, “The phenomenon of climate change rings a global alarm and warrants immediate attention and action. Climate change mitigation and adaption, along with environmental sustainability, has been a focus area of the Indian Government, led from the front by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji. We are extremely pleased about this collaborative effort of the Bihar Government with UNEP to make Bihar a climate resilient and low-carbon development state. This is a key step in the right direction that aims at strengthening existing policies and proactive actions taken to combat climate change effectively with efficient adaption to the needs of the hour.”
Tarkishore Prasad, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to note that Bihar State Pollution Control Board has joined hands with UNEP to prepare a strategy that aims for climate resilience and low-carbon development. It will add to the green initiatives already taken by the State Government such as Jal-Jeevan Hariyali Abhiyan, Agricultural Road Map, Renewable Energy Policy and Clean Fuel Policy.”
Satya S Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNEP New York Office said, “UNEP looks forward to Bihar leading the way in India in the transition to a low-emission economy. This path-breaking partnership between UNEP and the Government of Bihar is a vital step towards achieving sustainable development for all."
A growing number of countries have committed to achieving net-zero emissions goals by around mid-century. As of the beginning of 2021, 126 countries – accounting for 51 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions – have net-zero goals that are formally adopted, announced or under consideration.