It has recently been revealed that the EU have pledged €3.5 million to turn three major cities, Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad into sustainable havens, with an aim to combat increased pollution and reduce carbon emissions.
The project is part of a universal agreement following on from COP 21 in Paris (also known as the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015), leading to world leaders universally pledging to work together to combat climate change, increased GHG emissions from current transportation systems and ensure a healthier place to live in cities worldwide. The project is aimed at supporting over 100 cities globally by 2020.
In Indian cities, demographic trends, combined with the rising living standards of the middle class, have led to an exponential increase in the number of personal vehicles and therefore to congestion and pollution challenges. Urban transport accounts for around 20 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions in India and transport sector related GHG emissions are projected to double by 2050.
The €3.5 million agreement was extended as part of the ‘Mobilise Your City’ (MYC) initiative, financed by the European Union under its Asia Investment Facility (AIF).
Ms Claire Thuaudet, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of France to India, said, “I am thrilled that India is one of the very first country to benefit from the MobiliseYourCity initiative. France and India share a vibrant commitment to the fight against climate change and the implementation of Paris Agreement - it was strongly reaffirmed by President Macron and Prime Minister Modi during their meeting in Paris on 3rd June.”
The project’s main focuses are:
The expected benefits of MYC include reduced carbon emissions, diminished traffic congestion, better air quality, more inclusive and liveable cities, and improved economic competitiveness of these cities by improving logistics and access to jobs, basic services, education, etc.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of the EU for Bhutan Tomasz Kozlowski said, "Investments in energy, water, waste, climate and smart cities are investments in sustainability and address priorities under the flagship programs of the Indian government. They are part of our strategic partnership between the EU and India as was emphasised again by European and Indian leaders during Prime Minister Modi's recent visit to Europe."