Insights_‘CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY AND URBAN RESILIENCE’_Webinar 4

Insights_‘CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY AND URBAN RESILIENCE’_Webinar 4

Insights_‘CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY AND URBAN RESILIENCE’_Webinar 4 ahila Housing Trust (MHT), on the occasion of its silver jubilee is organizing a Webinar Series ‘The City Makers: Responsible Urbanization through Women’s Participation’. This webinar series, consisting of six webinars, is an integral part of the 25 years of celebration of Mahila Housing Trust that we have launched last year, which includes the publication of a book ‘The City Makers’. This webinar is being organized with support from Dasra, SELCO Foundation.

Under the series, six webinars are scheduled between January and March 2021. The fourth Webinar on: ‘Climate Change, Energy and Urban Resilience ’ was scheduled on February 24, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (IST). Kindly visit this page for more details about the Webinar.

This webinar series is an integral part of the 25 years of celebration of Mahila Housing Trust that we have launched last year, which includes the publication of a book ‘The City Makers’ .

The webinar focused on this Question: What are the major initiatives that are needed to be undertaken with the poor, on all three fronts, mitigation, adaptation and resilience building, so that the impact of climate change can be minimized on the most vulnerable population?

The objectives of this Webinar were:

To share the good practices on mitigation, adaptation and resilience building towards impact of climate change, on poor.
To understand the efforts at the level of policy, and advocacy being undertaken, towards the same.
To bring in the national/International experiences to the fore on the issue. The Webinar was moderated by Rajeswari Namagiri Gorana, Independent Consultant, Education for Sustainable Development Sector who opined that one of the objectives of this webinar is to learn about the risks and vulnerabilities of urban poor, particularly those emanating from climate impacts like heat stress, inadequate housing and lack of sustainable energy solutions. Talking about the Panelists on board, she said, “The panelists today are all women practitioners whose calling is action and facilitating change in poor urban communities.”

Edel Monteiro, Program Lead, India Climate Collaborative talked on on the impact of climate change on urban vulnerability and the under recognized role of clean energy in building climate resilience for the urban poor in India. She talked on ways we can bring attention to complex problems by showcasing integrated solutions – in this case how financing thermally efficient, comfortable housing reduces vulnerabilities of low income urban communities. She explained, “Women are key instruments to participate in urban planning, in a warming planet cooling is a necessity and not a luxury.” She added, “Solutions to minimize the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable population have to be socio-technical.”

She further talked on the role of civil society, especially philanthropies and foundations, in using grant capital to drive attention to, and support scaling and uptake of the solutions discussed in the session. Further she shared, “In India, there’s no shortage of good solutions and ideas, strong mobilised communities and inspiring grassroots organisations. But what doesn’t always happen is the scaling of these stories and ideas, and some of that has to do the lack of an enabling environment.” She added, “You need supportive policies, enabling finance architecture, scalable business or operational models, local and institutional capacity, and coordination between sectors. And this could be the catalytic role of foundations and philanthropies – to invest in these conditions for a favourable enabling environment.”

Nirmita Chandrashekar, Program Manager – Built Environment , SELCO Foundation talked on broader elements of urban vulnerabilities in energy, heat stress, disaster and the core intent will be on solutions and approaches of mitigation and adaptation and building resilience in housing and home based livelihoods. She explained, “Passive design integration for cooling and resilience building is integral to inclusive and equitable access to housing and workspaces for the poor. This requires a system’s approach to construction technology innovation and propagation, skill building and inclusive financing.”

@nirmita_ shared @SELCOFoundation ‘s solution approach by technology as a catalyst for bettering life of communities in informal urban settlements. #thecitymakers Xiaoyi Jin, Head of Access to Cooling, Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP), ClimateWorks Foundation talked on specific opportunity (challenge) of ensuring access to efficient, climate-friendly cooling for all in a warming world, which has the potential to achieve the triple-wins of cutting global warming, improving lives, and helping countries realize huge financial savings that could be directed to other areas of public spending.

“Globally, more than 1 billion people are at significant risk from lack of cooling, making it more difficult for people to escape poverty, keep healthy, have economic productivity or maintain fresh food. In both developing and developed countries, lack of access to sufficient cooling is expected to worsen in the coming decades as the world warms,” she said. She added, “Today, cooling produces roughly 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately 80% of GHG emissions from cooling equipment is from energy use and 20% from direct emissions of the refrigerants,” She then talked on global awareness raising (Ashden and RMI cooling awards, Global Million Cool Roofs Challenge etc), policy-level initiatives (enhanced NDC in light of COP26, national/urban cooling action plan etc), and the need for research/data collection. She said, “Cooling is uniquely situated at the intersection of the Kigali Amendment, the Paris Agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals. By implementing efficient, climate-friendly cooling, governments can cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve the lives of their citizens, and realize huge financial savings.”

Bhavna Maheriya, Programme Manager, Mahila Housing Trust talked on MHT’s work on devising local coping mechanisms and adaptation technologies to build climate-resilience capacities of urban poor in South Asia. She shared, “Everyday new innovations are introduced in market but there are hardly innovations which the poor communities can afford. Innovations should have four parameters for it to be adapted by these communities: Aspiration, User- friendliness, Affordability and Access.”

The Moderator Rajeswari Gorana concluded the webinar, “The words in the topic take a new meaning when we examine them from an urban inequality perspective. We need energy solutions that not only address development deficits but also foster climate resilience in the same go.” She added, “Poor should be seen as partners and not beneficiaries on the way we approach collectively to reduce impact of climate change on the most vulnerable population.”

Two pre-recorded videos were played in the Webinar to share voices of women project participant’s who were supported by MHT. Krishnaben’s and Meena ben’s stories were unleashed through these videos. The webinar was hosted on ZOOM platform and LIVE casted on MHT’s Facebook page. It was LIVE tweeted on MHT’s Twitter handle: @mahilahsg. The recorded version is available on MHT’s Youtube channel.Policy makers, researchers, international organisations, NGOs, academia and many others participated to discuss and debate !

The webinar was hosted on ZOOM platform and LIVE casted on MHT’s Facebook page. It was LIVE tweeted on MHT’s Twitter handle: @mahilahsg. The recorded version is available on MHT’s Youtube channel.Policy makers, researchers, international organisations, NGOs, academia and many others participated to discuss and debate !

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