Commencing with a recognition of the far-reaching implications of climate change on Tamil Nadu’s economic landscape, the podcast conversation featuring Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary to Government, Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Forests, Government of Tamil Nadu, delves into the intricacies of the challenges faced by the state.
Sahu underscores the urgency for a comprehensive strategy, acknowledging the varied ecosystems within Tamil Nadu. She particularly highlights the tangible impacts of climate change, such as escalating temperatures and erratic rainfall, which shape the everyday experiences of the populace. Sahu advocates for a multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional approach to navigate these challenges to ensure a resilient and adaptive response to the dynamic climate scenario. The stage is set for a detailed exploration of the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission and its initiatives, providing a glimpse into the government’s proactive stance in mitigating environmental threats while fostering economic sustainability.
Sahu introduces the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission, a comprehensive initiative that aims to make the state climate resilient. The mission involves a special purpose vehicle, the Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company (TNGCC), to coordinate climate action. Three flagship missions under TNGCC include the Green Tamil Nadu mission for afforestation, the Wetlands Mission for restoring vital wetlands, and the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission.
The Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission focuses on ground-level policies and actions with district-level involvement. Sahu explains the importance of policy directives and highlights the significance of engaging local communities through initiatives like the Climate Literacy Programme in schools, making schools carbon-neutral, and the establishment of climate-smart villages.
Sahu also details the targets set for various initiatives, such as the 10 climate-smart villages, which aim to implement climate-resilient practices in sectors like agriculture, industry, and transportation. She highlights government efforts to support farmers in adapting to climate change, including missions like Palmyra and Millet that promote climate-hardy crops with reduced water dependence.
The discussion extends to waste management, where Sahu discusses the challenges posed by urbanization. Government initiatives include waste-to-energy projects, biomaturation plans, and partnerships with organisations like the World Bank and the United Nations to address waste-related challenges.
The conversation concludes with Sahu addressing the perceived contradiction between economic growth and environmental protection. She emphasises the need to empower stakeholders, such as industries, through initiatives like green indexing and highlights ongoing projects aimed at enabling local communities to measure, report, and evaluate climate action at the village level. Listen in.