BCAP: Bengaluru’s first step towards achieving net-zero by 2050

BCAP is a collaborative, multi-stakeholder effort with over 25 departments and agencies working to foster a better Bengaluru.

“Launching a roadmap for climate action is a strategically significant step for the state of Karnataka. Bengaluru will not only emerge as a lighthouse for other cities in Karnataka and India but will also serve as a global example of inclusive climate action. Over the next few years, the BCAP will be implemented as a multi-sectoral collaborative effort, drawing participation from various departments of the Government of Karnataka, civil society and the private sector.”

DK Shivakumar, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) launched the Bengaluru Climate Action and Resilience Plan (BCAP) on November 27th at Freedom Park with an eye towards achieving net-zero by 2050.

As part of Bengaluru’s C40 Cities commitment, the city has been preparing a data-driven, inclusive and collaborative climate action plan – with WRI India as knowledge partner – focused on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and building healthy, equitable and resilient communities.

Bengaluru is the second city, after Mumbai, where WRI India has engaged as a knowledge partner in preparing a city-level climate action plan.

The BCAP offers the city the opportunity to intensify and coordinate efforts to plan and manage its urban growth, in an equitable and climate-aware manner, informed by local conditions, and aligned to the global climate agenda.

Bengaluru’s built footprint has nearly doubled between 1990 and 2015. Along with this unprecedented growth, comes the task of maintaining and enhancing liveability conditions. An increase in GHG emissions and increased loss and damage from climate change-induced hazards are just some of the current challenges the city faces.

As part of the BCAP process, the city also conducted its first ever GHG inventory for the BBMP area – compliant to the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). Additionally, the Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (CCRAVA), done under the BCAP, establishes an evidence base for the likelihood of climate change-induced hazards and the variations in exposure to risks in different parts of the city.

These evidence bases and the pathways analysis are the basis for setting future mitigation (potential to reduce GHG emissions), adaptation and resilience (capability to absorb shocks from climate hazards) targets for the city. The actions identified under BCAP are aligned to seven major sectors – energy and buildings, transportation, solid waste management, water, wastewater and stormwater, air quality, urban planning, greening and biodiversity, and disaster management.

While the BCAP summary report was released on November 27th, a BCAP full report and the CCRAVA findings will also be shortly released by the BMMP. These reports will give a deeper understanding of the assessments done which led to the identification of critical actions.

Read more: All about Bengaluru’s action plan to fight air pollution

Some of the announcements made at the launch event include the launch of a Climate Action Cell to enable the requisite stakeholder coordination and resources needed to work to implement the BCAP.

The Cell will be primarily tasked with helping the city agencies turn actions into implementable and bankable projects in collaboration with all partners. Furthermore, the Cell will also ensure the city is on track to achieve the goals and targets set under the BCAP across all seven sectors in coordination with all stakeholder agencies.

Blue-Green-Uru initiative

Additionally, the #BluGreenUru initiative was launched on November 27th. Blue-Green Infrastructure includes a combination of blue (lakes, rivers, streams & other natural and constructed drainage channels) and green (gardens, urban forests, green roofs etc.) infrastructure.

Blue-Green Infrastructure acts as a buffer to climate change shocks by reducing heat stress, absorbing surface run-off, and reducing risk of flooding among others. Through the Blugreenuru campaign, BBMP is calling upon citizens, community-based organisations, resident welfare associations (RWAs), the private sector and government authorities to participate, contribute and collaborate in making Bengaluru climate resilient by conserving, restoring and integrating the city’s green spaces and water networks.

Another campaign, focused on sustainable transport and low-carbon cities, is the #Personal2Public campaign spearheaded by non-partisan citizen group B.PAC and supported by WRI India. Personal2Public, a citizen-led initiative, encourages Bengalureans to make the move from private to public transport (i.e. buses and metro) at least twice a month with the intent of decongesting roads and improving air quality in the city.

Basavaraj Kabade, Chief General Manager & Chief Engineer, Bengaluru Solid Waste  Management Limited (BSWML), Nodal Officer of BCAP from BBMP  said “Spanning over two years, the preparation of the BCAP was spearheaded by BBMP. It was a  collaborative and multi-stakeholder exercise with more than 25 departments and agencies working together to build an evidence base and shape relevant actions. Consultations were  also conducted with members of the civil society, academia, practitioners and organisations  working closely with communities. Over the next few years, the BCAP will be implemented as a  multi-sectoral collaborative effort, drawing participation from various departments of the  Government of Karnataka, civil society and the private sector.” 

Read more: A community-centric approach to building a climate resilient Bengaluru


panellists at BCAP launch
Panel discussion at the BCAP launch. Seema Mundoli, Shobha Raghavan, S. Viswanath, Prof. Ashish Verma, Jay Asundi, Dr. Ravindra Mehta, Shrimoyee Bhattacharya and Srinivas Alavilli, moderated by Vasanthi Hariprakash. Pic: Sandhya Bhat

Other key highlights of the event included a melodious performance by local group Bhoomi Taayi Balaga, followed by school students, citizens and different civic organisations taking a pledge to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The young climate warriors gave the much-needed impetus needed to put the action into climate action by sharing their thoughts on tackling climate change.

The event concluded with an engaging panel discussion that featured environmental stalwarts – who delved into creating pathways for implementing inclusive climate actions in priority areas, such that they deliver maximum socio-economic and environmental co-benefits.

S Viswanath, Biome Environmental Solutions, stressed on the need for rainwater harvesting as “Less than 2% of the rainwater harvesting potential is being carried out in Bengaluru. The dominating discourse should also be of climate justice and equity. It’s not an environmental issue as much as it’s a social issue.”

Professor Ashish Verma, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), welcomed the Climate Action Cell within BBMP, which could be a starting point but said “We need the Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) to operationalise at the earliest and it should have BCAP as its guiding document (to approve projects).”

Jay Asundi, CSTEP, felt that the government should consider solutions that will have long-term consequences and improve our air quality overall.

Shobha Raghavan, Saahas, emphasised the importance of segregation at source and need for audits, and decentralised solutions for a large and expanding city like Bengaluru.

Dr Ravindra Mehta, Vaayu, talked about how air quality was affecting all age groups. “Lung health is an entry point to all over health. It affects heart disease, hypertension, cancer and not just chronic lung disease. This is a global crisis with local imprint, and Bengaluru is a lovely city – we need to get our act into shape.”

Seema Mundoli, from Azim Premji University (APU), proposed a Peoples Biodiversity Register (PBR) at the ward level.

Shrimoyee Bhattacharya and Srinivas Alavilli, WRI India, talked about the features of BCAP and the need for a collaborative approach between various departments and citizen groups.

[This is a press release by WRI, India, published with minimal edits]

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