India: 'Climate Parliament' seeks changes in MP, MLA dev fund policy

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A group of lawmakers has asked the government to make some crucial policy changes in existing schemes to facilitate low carbon development work in their constituencies and said India's ambitious target of low carbon emissions can be met by local area actions by MPs.

MPs and MLAs under the Climate Parliament network urged the Centre to make changes in MPLAD and Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana to facilitate low carbon development works in their constituencies.

They also demanded establishment of "Legislator Support Cell" within the Environment New and Renewable Energy Ministry for continued support to legislators in this sphere.

Climate Parliament is an international cross-party network of legislators dedicated to preventing climate change and promoting renewable energy and supports lawmakers to undertake initiatives at national and regional levels to help accelerate the global renewable switch.

Karanataka MP Prahlad Joshi and MLA Arvind Bellad and Odisha MP Kalikesh Singh Deo, on behalf of the Climate Parliament, have also written a letter to Ministers of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy and Rural Development as well as to the Speaker and Chairman of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha regarding the issue.

"India's ambitious targets at the COP21 Paris Agreement can be met by local area actions by the MPs and MLAs. The MPs and MLA have asked the government to make some important policy changes in the existing government schemes," they said.

They also demanded establishment of a "Legislator Support Cell" within the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy or the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for continued support to legislators in this sphere, a Climate Parliament statement said.

"The letter also suggests that financing, lack of adequate information, capacity and training locally as well as certain administrative barriers are some of the major issues affecting the low carbon development works," the statement said.

In both Dharwad (Karnataka) and Balangir (Odisha), the MPs and MLAs are in the process of implementing solar power digital education, basic home lighting and drinking water pumps, household biogas units and transforming an entire village into a "solar village".

To meet the funding requirements sources such as CSR, MPLAD and soft loans are being actively explored while partnership with leading organizations are also being explored, the statement said.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/climate-parliament-...