New Delhi: To combat climate change and promote sustainable development, the Indian Cabinet has approved a groundbreaking initiative that will financially support state governments in their efforts to tackle climate issues.

Known as the City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain 2.0 scheme, this project aims to complement the central government’s existing endeavours in the field.

In an official statement, the government revealed that the scheme is a collaborative effort involving prominent international partners, including the French Development Agency (AFD), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the European Union (EU), and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) based in New Delhi.

The program, set to run from 2023 to 2027, has been allocated a budget of Rs 1760 crore (approximately EUR 200 million).

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This financial support will consist of a loan of ?1000 crore (around EUR 100 million) each from AFD and KfW, while the EU will provide a technical assistance grant amounting to ?106 crore (about EUR 12 million).

The primary objective of this scheme is to identify and provide backing to selected projects that promote the circular economy, with a specific focus on integrated waste management at the city level.

Additionally, the initiative aims to facilitate climate-oriented reform actions at the state level and strengthen institutions while disseminating knowledge at the national level.

By leveraging and expanding upon the lessons learned from the previous version of the scheme launched in 2018, which had an initial outlay of Rs 933 crore (approximately EUR 106 million), the government hopes to enhance its efforts in addressing climate change and sustainable development.

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In another development, the Cabinet has approved the establishment of a regional office of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in New Delhi, in partnership with the United Nations agency. This move is expected to bolster India’s diplomatic presence, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and further strengthen its relations with other nations.

Moreover, the establishment of the regional office will enable India to actively participate in global postal forums, thereby elevating its profile on the international stage.

The City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain 2.0 scheme and the establishment of the UPU regional office in New Delhi signify India’s commitment to addressing pressing environmental challenges and expanding its diplomatic footprint.

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