MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government will set up a state council that will work to reduce the impact of climate change highlighted by the United Nations body IPCC and suggest measures to meet future challenges, it was announced on Wednesday.
A statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said the state climate council will be headed by CM Uddhav Thackeray.
“The state will work on the 5Rs – Reduce, Refuse, Reuse, Recycle, Recover declared by the United Nations,” said the statement issued after the weekly cabinet meeting.
The cabinet discussed the need to have a time-bound action plan and all ministers whose departments are related to climate change should be involved in formulating the plan, it said.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in a report released last month, said extreme sea-level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century with scientists warning sea level rise, floods, heavy rainfall and glacier melting are some of the irreversible effects.
Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the state pollution control board has taken to social media platforms to apprise citizens about the impact of climate change and issues related to the environment.
The state cabinet discusses issues related to climate change and the environment every month, he said.
Thackeray said environment and climate change figure on the agenda of the weekly cabinet meetings along with important issues like COVID-19 and agricultural crops.
He said the latest IPCC report, which highlights threats to coastal cities, including Mumbai, due to climate change, was discussed at Wednesday’s meeting.
”The threat is not just because of rising sea levels, but also due to increased frequency of unseasonal rains and landslides,” the minister said.
“Through social media platforms (Twitter and Instagram), where the state pollution control board is active, citizens can post their complaints related to the environment,” he said.
Among other things, the IPCC report has warned that the coastline of 12 cities in the country will go under water.
Maharashtra is in the tropical region and if temperature increases by 2 to 2.5 degrees Celsius, the state’s coastline may go under water, the report presented before the cabinet warned.
In central Maharashtra, there is a possibility of severe drought and wildfires due to climate change, it said.