Not-for-profit, public policy think tank, Mumbai First is set to host a two-day international conference, “Climate Crisis: Action for Tropical Coastal Cities” in collaboration with the European Union and CSIR-NEERI, supported by The Government of Maharashtra and MoEFCC. The conference will bring together government representatives, industrialists, politicians, urban planners, academicians, social and environmental scientists, and environmentalists together to examine the impact of climate change, and the impending climate crisis, on the bustling coastal metropolis.
Scheduled to be held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel on February 27th and 28th, 2020, this unique conference will examine the threat that global warming and consequent rising sea levels pose to coastal cities like Mumbai.
Speakers, featuring leading names from the government, the environment ministry, and international experts from the European Union will engage with the issue from various perspectives via a number of themes. The conference theme presentation will be given by McKinsey India with support from the knowledge partner, CSIR-NEERI.
The conference themes range from urban flooding and risk management in coastal cities to the ecological impact that climate change is set to have on human health and marine life. Furthermore, they will also delve into issues addressing group-specific vulnerabilities of climate change such as the debilitating impact it can have on livelihoods of the urban poor, women, and youth.
Rising global temperatures have already begun playing havoc with climate patterns. Record summer temperatures in Europe, bushfires in Australia, the gradual melting of the Antarctic ice caps, and the erratic but protracted monsoons in Mumbai, are all evidence that climate change is real.
The United Nations estimates that nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, with high-density cities at greatest risk from climate change. The outlook is far more grim for cities like Mumbai, which being coastal, will have to contend with rising sea levels and could be underwater by as early as 2050.
Unless addressed, this could exact a heavy toll on Mumbai, resulting in a loss of life, an increase in the outbreak of health scares and the destruction of local livelihoods and communities, like the indigenous Koli fishing community.
Already struggling to bear the brunt of even seasonal monsoons, the large scale flooding will cripple infrastructure and transport services. Moreover, with Mumbai the country’s financial capital, it could potentially even derail India’s economic ambitions.
Narinder Nayar – Chairman, Mumbai First, said that addressing these issues is the need of the hour. Mumbai First anticipates the two-day conclave will spark a conversation around mitigating the impact of global warming, propose meaningful, executable solutions for Mumbai and other tropical coastal cities to combat the rising seawaters. He added, Our aim is to address the problems of today and seize the opportunities of tomorrow through partnerships with government, business, and civil society and help Mumbai regain its title of “Urbs Prima in Indis”, that it once wore with pride and a certain panache.