SDMC hosts Asia Pacific forum on sustainable urbanisation
New Delhi: South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday kicked off the fourth Asia Pacific Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation-Resilient Cities 2019 in New Delhi hosted in association with the United Nations. The three-day event is being hosted in India for the first time with 31 participating countries.
While inaugurating the forum, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said that with climate change reaching new heights by the day, green solutions are not just welcome but necessary to combat the adverse impact brought on by this, specifically in Asia. "Our cities are battling the consequences of climate change on a daily basis," he said.
He added that with the massive number of migrants moving to cities and the rapid surge of urbanisation, problems caused by climate change need to be addressed.
"More than 60% of the world's population resides in Asia and nearly half of this resides in cities and towns. It is extremely crucial to link every aspect of urbanization with sustainability. Cities account for 2/3rd of global energy demand and 70% of carbon emissions. The new urban infrastructure should be low carbon, green and climate resilient," Vice-President Naidu said.
In his inaugural address, SDMC Commissioner, Puneet Kumar Goel said that climate change is a "global challenge and its impacts are serious, urgent and growing".
Saying that the mantle for tackling these issues must not be passed on to future generations, he said that if sustainable approaches to climate change are not adopted soon, the coming generations will be "consigned to irreversible catastrophes".
Citing SDMC projects that have taken proactive steps to adopt green solutions to problems related to rapid urbanisation, Commissioner Goel said the municipality has shaved of millions of dollars just by using energy-efficient LED lights in streets. He also mentioned that electric cars and solar power used in MCD buildings are valuable steps in proceeding towards sustainable urbanisation. "The SDMC is also taking result-oriented steps for management of solid waste. Our waste to energy plant has been one of the steps to convert waste to electricity," Commissioner Goel said.
SDMC Mayor Narendra Chawla was also at the event, where he said that Delhi is facing the brunt of problems that come as a result of converging urbanisation and climate change, adding that a "dialogue such as this one is the need of the hour".