Capacity Building for Low-carbon and Climate Resilient City Development in India

Today, cities account for approximately two-thirds of global energy use and over 70 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that drive global climate change. India is the fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world and with the accompanying rapid urbanisation, there is an urgent need for climate action especially across its 4000 plus urban centres. Old and new cities across India are facing immense pressure due to ever-rising demand for energy, infrastructure and services. This will be further accentuated by the growing risks caused by climate variability and change, which are most likely to greatly affect the poor and vulnerable segments of the city populations the most. In view of this, the cities need to come up with integrated plans and solutions for dealing with the combined challenges of urban growth, poverty and climate change risks and move towards low emission, climate resilient and sustainable urban development.

The Capacity Building for Low-carbon and Climate Resilient City Development project (CapaCITIES), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC) Global Programme Climate Change and Environment, is directly responding to the Government of India’s objective of developing “Climate-Smart Cities”. After the successful implementation of the first phase (2016-19), the project, in its second phase (2019-23), is focusing on enhancing the capacity of 8 Indian cities and replicating it across 2 select states. The project is working towards mainstreaming climate action in urban development through adoption of integrated climate-resilient planning, design innovative finance mechanisms and development of climate-resilient infrastructure. The project is bringing together Indo-Swiss in the sectors of water, waste and transport to demonstrate scalable solutions of urban climate action in India, with a global relevance.

2/3 of the Global Energy

Cities in general consume two-thirds of the global energy.

70% of GHG Emissions

Cities account for over 70 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that drive global climate change.

4th Largest Emitter of GHG

India is the fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world and with the accompanying rapid urbanization.

Climate Action Planning in Cities

There is an urgent need for climate action especially across its 4000 plus urban centers.

Program at a glance

Phase 1

Phase 2

Implementation Partners

Consortium of South Pole Carbon Management Ltd., ICLEI South Asia and econcept , NIUA.

Implementation Partners

Consortium of South Pole Carbon Management Ltd., ICLEI South Asia and econcept , NIUA.

Public Sector Partners

Municipal Corporations and city-level authorities of Coimbatore, Rajkot, Siliguri Udaipur, Tirunelveli.

Public Sector Partners

Municipal Corporations and city-level authorities of Coimbatore, Rajkot, Siliguri Udaipur, Tirunelveli, Tiruchirapalli, Vadodara, Ahmedabad.

Geographic Focus

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Rajkot (Gujarat), Siliguri (West Bengal) and Udaipur (Rajasthan).

Geographic Focus

Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Rajkot (Gujarat), Siliguri (West Bengal), and Udaipur (Rajasthan).

Primary Objectives

Capacities of city authorities in four partner cities to plan and implement climate change mitigation and adaptation measures enhanced.

City-level climate change mitigation measures for priority sectors initiated.

City-level climate change adaptation measures for priority sectors initiated.

Awareness on low carbon and climate resilient city development increased in India and other countries.

Primary Objectives

City and state governments integrate climate change aspects (adaptation and mitigation) into urban planning and implementation.

Enhanced capacities of city and state governments to access finance for scaled up urban climate action.

Enhanced knowledge on accelerating city climate action at the national and global level.

Project Outcomes

Outcome 1 :

The project is supporting city and state governments to integrate climate change aspects (adaptation and mitigation) into urban planning and implementation. 

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Outcome 2 :

Project will enhance capacities of city and state governments to access finance for scaling up urban climate actions. 

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Outcome 3 :

Project will enhance knowledge on accelerating city climate action at the national and global level through its knowledge sharing and peer learning activities. 

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SDC Team Members

Dr. Jonathan Demenge

Sakshi C Dasgupta

Dr. Jonathan Demenge

Head of cooperation – SDC India

Dr. Jonathan Demenge is currently the Head of cooperation for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in India. He was previously the Country director of the international NGO Geres in Tajikistan, working on energy efficiency in housing and agriculture.

Trained as an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan holds a PhD from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in political ecology (on road construction in Ladakh). He calculated the first ecological footprint of subsistence farmers (in Ladakh).

He has worked for the Netherlands Development Organization, the Overseas Development Institute, various NGOs, and as a researcher in Nepal, India, Tajikistan, Ethiopia, and West Africa.

Sakshi C Dasgupta

Senior Thematic Advisor

Sakshi C. Dasgupta, is the Senior Thematic Advisor with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). She is managing projects like CapaCITIES, Clean Energy Policy etc. and is responsible for SDC’s Urban and Environment portfolio. She has more than 15 years of professional experience in the urban development/environment sector. She was earlier associated with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) on projects related to Sustainable Development of Smart Cities and Support to National urban Sanitation Policy in various states and cities. She has worked with organizations like TERI, Centre for Science and environment (CSE) on aspects related to water resource management, green buildings amongst others. She has extensive experience working with reputed bilateral organizations for development cooperation, research/ advocacy institutes, and state and city governments. Sakshi holds a master degree in urban and regional planning from the Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad. She completed her masters and bachelor’s degree from the Delhi School of Economics and Miranda House, Delhi University respectively.

Implementing Agencies’ Team Leaders

Emani Kumar

Hans-Peter Egler

Reto Dettli

Emani Kumar

Co-team Leader

Emani Kumar has been the Executive Director of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia since its founding in 2005.

Apart from overseeing the organisation’s strategic development, he also coordinates various multi-year and small scale projects and research work supported by various donors including UN agencies; State and National Governments of India and Research Organizations.

He has more than eighteen years of professional experience on issues related to climate change policy and planning, local governance, renewable energy and energy efficiency, social accountability, systems management and auditing. He is the Co-Team Leader of the CapaCITIES project.

Hans-Peter Egler

Co-team Leader

Hans-Peter has a master’s degree in Economics and more than 25 years of experience in international cooperation in the areas of trade, production, investment and infrastructure including environment and social issues. He acquired in-depth know-how regarding cooperation with businesses and financial entities of all kinds such as the World Bank, regional development banks, various UN organizations, non-governmental organizations, industries and retailers in Switzerland and in developing countries, as well as government agencies.

He has 20 years of experience in innovative project management at the interface between the economy, environment and development cooperation. Through these programmes and projects, SECO acquired an international profile as an innovative agency for the promotion of sustainable trade. Switzerland gained a more credible presence in the negotiation of programmes accompanying free trade agreements with developing and emerging countries.

Reto Dettli

Partner / Member of the Executive Board Sustainability Management for Cities; Climate Mitigation; European Energy Award Country Advisor and Auditor

Reto Dettli is Managing Partner of econcept and has a broad experience in elaboration of sustainability strategies for cities and public authorities on state level in different countries worldwide. He is within the CapaCITIES project, responsible for the development of tools for city level mitigation and adaptation planning. He supports the local experts in the elaboration of climate profiles, the preparation of the city climate action plans, preparation of regulatory measures, strategies for increasing awareness on low carbon and climate resilient city development and the dissemination of project experiences to Indian cities and cities in other countries.

Project Implementation Members

Martin Stadelmann

Soumya Chaturvedula

Gaetan Hinojosa

Beat Meier

Nadine Freuler

Mehul Patwari

Vaibhav Jain

Samiksha Dhingra

Vivek Jain

Ashish Rao Ghorpade

Monalisa Sen

Avantika Arjuna

Ankit Makvana

Nilesh Prajapati

Jay Shah

Sella Krishnan

Souhardo Chakraborty

Bhupandra Salodia

Nagendran

Harshith Gokulendra

Mukesh Patir

Subuhi Parvez

Senthil Kumar Arumugam

Bedoshruti Sadhukhan

Ritu Thakur

Rahul Singh

Nikhil Kolsepatil

Sony Ramapurath

Sasi Madambi

Vijay Saini

Martin Stadelmann

Deputy Co-team Leader and International Finance Expert

Soumya Chaturvedula

Deputy Co-team Leader & State Coach – Tamil Nadu

Gaetan Hinojosa

International Finance Expert

Beat Meier

Senior Project Manager Climate Specialist; Economic Analysis; Climate Adaptation; European Energy Award City Advisor

Nadine Freuler

Research Associate – Climate Specialist

Mehul Patwari

National Finance Expert

Vaibhav Jain

National Finance Coach

Samiksha Dhingra

Climate Change and Communications Expert

Vivek Jain

Communications Expert

Ashish Rao Ghorpade

State Coach – Gujarat

Monalisa Sen

City Coach – Siliguri

Avantika Arjuna

City Coach – Udaipur

Ankit Makvana

State Project Associate, Gujarat

Nilesh Prajapati

City Project Associate, Rajkot

Jay Shah

City Project Associate, Vadodara

Sella Krishnan

Senior City Project Associate, Coimbatore

Souhardo Chakraborty

City Project Associate, Siliguri

Bhupandra Salodia

City Project Associate, Udaipur

Nagendran

City Project Associate, Tirunelveli

Harshith Gokulendra

State Project Associate, Tamil Nadu

Mukesh Patir

National Project Coordinator, NIUA

Subuhi Parvez

Communications Expert

Senthil Kumar Arumugam

Climate Mitigation Expert

Bedoshruti Sadhukhan

Senior Climate Change Adaptation Expert

Ritu Thakur

Solid Waste Management Expert

Rahul Singh

Climate Change Adaptation & Solid Waste Management Expert

Nikhil Kolsepatil

Climate Change Mitigation Expert

Sony Ramapurath

Biodiversity Expert

Sasi Madambi

IT Expert

Vijay Saini

Transport Expert