Maharashtra has become the fifth Indian state after Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana and West Bengal to join the Under2 Coalition, which brings together 125 states from across the globe to combat climate change. Officials said that the move is in line with the state’s climate strategy to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and comes in the run up to the COP26 (Conference of the Parties) summit in November.
“Maharashtra is committed to making the region climate-resilient... The state is taking concrete green steps in coordination with other ministries, 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,” Maharashtra’s environment minister Aaditya Thackeray said in a statement on Thursday.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Maharashtra and the Under2 Coalition, however, is not legally binding, and does not place any financial obligations on the state.
“What we essentially do is facilitate the transfer of knowledge between member states who are committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. In the lead up to COP26, Maharashtra was keen to showcase its actions at a global level and learn from our members in the several global convenings we organise,” said Rana Pujari, manager, South Asia government relations, Under2 Coalition.
The Under2 Coalition has previously supported West Bengal in the revamping of its state climate action plan by allocating money from its Future Fund for a feasibility study on e-ferries in the city of Kolkata, as well as Chhattisgarh, where it organised capacity-building workshops for officials concerned on how to track greenhouse gas emissions and build emissions inventories that comply with international standards.
“We do not have any concrete action as such planned in Maharashtra, but may get involved at a later date once their State Climate Action Plan is ready,” Pujari added.