Nagpur: Maharashtra has become the fifth Indian and 125th global state to join the Under2 Coalition – a global community of state and regional governments committed to ambitious climate action in line with the Paris Agreement.
In the last few years, the state has witnessed a severe loss of life and serious economic disruptions due to the increasing impact of climate change in recent decades. It also has the highest number of non-attainment cities in the country where air pollution levels are not meeting the set standards.
By joining the coalition, the state aims to implements dedicated climate action in line with the Paris Agreement and reducing the region's vulnerability to natural disasters. Formed in 2015, the Under2 Coalition is a global community of nearly 230 governments, with its members representing over 1.3 billion people and 43% of the global economy. Apart from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana and West Bengal are also a part of the coalition.
Announcing the collaboration on Thursday, state environment minister Aaditya Thackeray said that the state is committed to making the region climate-resilient with ambitious and accelerated actions. “We are taking concrete green steps in coordination with other ministries, right from energy to tourism, to tackle climate change. As we enhance our efforts, we are delighted to join the Under2 Coalition and collaborate with other states and regions addressing environmental challenges worldwide. Maharashtra is keen to work with its global counterparts and share the critical insights we all have observed through our interventions, the minister added.
As per a study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Maharashtra faces high climate risk with a seven-fold increase in the frequency of drought events and a six-fold increase in extreme floods in the last five decades.
Welcoming the state’s decision, Ash Vie, director of the Under2 Coalition Secretariat at the Climate Group, said, “As one of India's largest states, this is a welcome boost for environmental leadership and provides another crucial voice for the planet in South Asia. We look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”