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Indian states increase engagement with the Climate Action Compass

23 April 2020, 11:13 UTC 2 min read

With global discussions about how to support the economy post-COVID-19, many countries, businesses and other organisations are raising the prospect of a sustainable recovery: one that considers the needs of the natural world and helps, rather than hinders, work against climate change.

As part of this, Indian states and civil society organizations are coming together to find new ways of strengthening regional climate action and resilience. One useful tool emerging from their efforts is the Under2 Coalition’s Climate Action Compass, which was originally developed in 2019 by the Climate Group and KPMG.

The Compass has been designed to enable Indian state governments to assess performance on their regional climate action plans, whilst aligning them with India’s ambitious national targets. It acts as a template, with key statistical information on each state’s performance across a number of core areas including social performance, energy conservation efforts, waste management, emission intensity reduction, renewable energy, carbon sinks, climate change adaptation, climate finance and technology.

Information provided is then mapped against India’s national targets and ambitions to show how the state’s action on climate and adaptation match up. This helps the states to assess their current level of alignment and identify priority areas where more effort needs to be made to contribute effectively towards these national goals.  The Compass can therefore help governments to develop a plan for future action and ensure that state action more closely mirrors national action.

“There is immense state-level climate leadership in India. The Climate Action Compass becomes an effective way for states to capture that action in one comprehensive tool and map it against the main national-level climate goals in India."

Nehmat Kaur, Head of Global Government Relations at the Under2 Coalition

Now, Indian states including Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Meghalaya, Jammu & Kashmir and Gujarat and key civil society organisations have come together to learn more about the Climate Action Compass and its use in accelerating action at a regional level. Their latest conversation, held on Earth Day 2020, has helped to galvanise those states leading India’s progress towards its Nationally Determined Contributions. In spite of the on-going health and economic challenges posed by COVID-19, states expressed optimism about what could be achieved.

There is now the potential for the Climate Action Compass to be adopted as an integral planning mechanism at state level: helping individual states to plan next steps and to measure their progress against the State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs). Perhaps more importantly than this however is the capacity of the tool to bring states together in sharing best practice and supporting one another as part of India’s broader, ambitious plans for climate action.