International Conference on Climate Crisis: Action for Tropical Coastal Cities


International Conference on Climate Crisis: Action for Tropical Coastal Cities

Effects of climate change on Mumbai could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s economy owing to its status as a banking centre of the country, Donal Cannon, head of European Investment Bank, South Asia, said on Friday during the International Conference on Climate Crisis: Action for Tropical Coastal Cities organized by Mumbai First, Govt of Maharashtra, the EU, and other partners on 27-28 Feb, 2020 in Mumbai.

“Banking is very time sensitive. If people can’t get access to their money within hours, generally there can be a run on the bank. Hence prolonged outages in Mumbai can have a very severe impact not just on people working in the city but even on India’s economy and beyond,” he said.

Mr. Cannon was speaking at a session on enabling climate adaptation through finance and policies on the second day of a conference titled, Climate Crisis: Action for Tropical Coastal Cities. The session also featured talks by Naman Gupta, climate change advisor, Environment Department, Maharashtra government, Anirban Ghosh, chief sustainability officer, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Manu Prakash, CEO of Taru Leading Edge. 

“Prevention is not only better than cure, it is also cheaper than cure,” Mr. Cannon said, adding governments and agencies should look at blended financing for sustainability projects which is partly financed by public grants and partly by long-term loans of multilateral development banks.

Ms. Gupta said the State government has started talking to the private sector on how to develop business models or projects that could be scaled up in the climate adaptation area. “The private sector has been quite active in the mitigation sector but in the adaptation side, we have tried to tie up with some big companies.”

Mr. Ghosh said the resilience of Mumbai or any city was only seen after a disaster, and that there weren’t too many examples of anticipating and preventing them.

Mr. Prakash said the effects of climate change had a direct impact on public health and that health systems had to be enhanced and that Mumbai needed to have a special climate fund to the tune of $10-12 billion to address climate change. “It needs a dedicated and co-ordinated institution at the city level to address policy and programme requirements and needs to act fast. We have just about 10-12 years to adapt and mitigate, otherwise things will get out of hand.”