Stating that the issue of climate change has to be dealt in a holistic manner, Mukesh Shah, the joint secretary of Climate Change department, on Thursday said that the state government has integrated 18 departments to work together to address the issue.
Speaking at a national seminar on climate change and sustainable development, organised by M S University and Indian Society of Geomatics (ISG), Shah said, “Climate change is not a solitary subject. Only if all the departments work together, we can fight the challenge of climate change. In the last three years, we have brought together all the departments, almost 18 of them, and requested them that in their annual budget they propose a budget for climate change. We strongly believe that climate change should be addressed in a holistic way, and we have integrated the department of health, agriculture and irrigation and other major departments. We have facilitated the provision of a budget of Rs 3,400 crore together.”
He said that Narendra Modi as the chief minister of Gujarat had carved out a separate department of climate change in 2009-10, the first state in the country to do so.
Encouraging the use of solar power, he said that Gujarat has a huge potential of harnessing solar energy. “We can harness 10,000 MW of solar power if only 0.1 per cent of land mass is set aside, and keeping this in mind we have introduced the solar power policy. We are now encouraging roof top solar power harnessing. Apart from policy level decisions, we are also actively involved in research. At present, three separate researches have been undertaken by three universities in the state in collaboration with us to study the impact and ways of mitigation of climate change in Gujarat,” he said, adding that the twin challenges facing the world today are terrorism and climate change.
At the event, CEO of Gujarat State Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited, S K Mishra said that farmers are worst affected by the changing climate patterns. “Due to the changing climate patterns, the worst affected are farmers whose assets are exposed to the climatic conditions. And for a fertiliser company like ours we bring in solutions for these farmers like water soluble fertilisers.”
The two-day seminar will see the participation of academicians from across the country. The topics include water management and its impact on environment, sustainable cities, human rights among others.