10 Facts to Better Understand the Bengaluru Climate Action and Resilience Plan


On November 27, 2023, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) launched Bengaluru’s first ever Climate Action and Resilience Plan.

The release of the Bengaluru Climate Action and Resilience Plan (BCAP) makes the city only the third in the country to have a global standard climate action plan. The Bengaluru Climate Action Cell, recently set up at the BBMP under its newly notified Forest, Environment and Climate Change Management (FECCM) wing, further conveys the intent of city agencies’ to embed a climate lens in delivering their responsibilities.

Do read on to gain more insights on the formulation and development of the BCAP, a summary of which is available here.

  1. What is the genesis of BCAP?
    Bengaluru joined the C40 Cities network in 2017, committing to contribute to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, along with focusing on building resilience to climate change. The city actively started working towards these commitments, in 2021, by kicking-off the preparation of the city’s first ever climate action and resilience plan.

  2. How does the BCAP align with state and national climate commitments?
    The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) outlines a strategy focused on the better understanding of climate change, adaptation and mitigation, energy efficiency and natural resource conservation. NAPCC through its sectoral missions provides a detailed road map for states to take forward through their respective State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC). The Karnataka State Action Plan on Climate Change (KSAPCC) looks at adaptive and mitigative strategies for the entire state through different sectors at the district level. BCAP approaches climate actions aligned to the overall intent and guidance provided by NAPCC and KSAPCC.

  3. What is the statutory status of BCAP and how does it impact its success?
    The preparation of a city-level climate action plan is not provided for in the town and country planning acts (or in any other legal frameworks) for cities and towns in Karnataka. The success of the BCAP would largely depend on the collective actions, and coordinated efforts, across government departments, stakeholder agencies and citizens with the Climate Action Cell setting out clear processes and priorities. While BCAP does not have a statutory status, unlike the city masterplan that guides land-use planning in Bengaluru, we are adopting a two-pronged strategy to overcome this limitation –

    1. BCAP actions, in each sector, align with the respective statutory provisions, major policies and regulations

    2. BCAP recommends revision of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act (KTCP Act 2021) to embed climate change imperatives in city planning exercises.

  4. What are the consultative, bottom-up approaches adopted for BCAP? Are these enough?
    The preparation of BCAP was a three-part collaborative process involving 1) Government departments and parastatal agencies, 2) Academia, experts and practitioners, 3) Zonal level consultations. The zonal level consultations were held at two levels to capture local climate change impacts and better understand citizen priorities to inform mitigation and adaptation actions.

    1. Pilot ward committee meetings: BCAP was introduced in three ward committee meetings, across different parts of the city, with the intent of capturing ground realities.

    2. Zone-level sensitisation workshops: BBMP zonal level officials were trained to capture inputs from ward committees and citizen groups. We prepared a bi-lingual BCAP Consultation Toolkit that was shared at these workshops.

While responses from these consultations provided valuable insights, these consultative processes need to be institutionalised, along with creating platforms for local participation, to strengthen local-level climate actions and stakeholder participation.

  1. What is the geographic scope of BCAP and how does it address the expanding nature of growth that cities like Bengaluru experience?
    The geographic scope of BCAP is focused on BBMP limits, which is approximately 713 sq. kms. This scope is based on the Climate Action Plan framework of C40 Cities which considers a city’s municipal area under the control of the civic body (in this case BBMP) as the planning unit. Hence, the emission inventory is framed within the BBMP boundary. However, BCAP acknowledges the need for consideration of necessary physical attributes beyond the BBMP boundary, especially for assessing climate change risks. Therefore, insights from larger geographic regions, in which Bengaluru is situated, have been duly considered in the assessment of hazards and risks. While the action recommendations under BCAP are largely for the BBMP area, similar actions could be extended, by appropriate authorities, to outgrowth areas adjacent to BBMP.

  2. What are the evidence-bases on which action recommendations are formulated?
    Building a baseline understanding of where the city stands, on climate action, enables the setting of quantifiable targets which can be monitored and evaluated periodically to track progress. This also helps to identify the major contributors of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the factors responsible for climate and environmental hazards, allowing for recommendations of specific actions to tackle the same. The two major baseline exercises done as a part of BCAP preparation were _

    1. GHG inventory: It includes an analysis of all the major sectors/sources that emit GHGs into the atmosphere and the major sectors/land uses that absorb (or sequester) GHGs from the atmosphere.

    2. Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment: his was carried out to understand the key areas that the city needs to focus on, in order to enhance its adaptive capacity and build resilience against climate change risks, as seen through the combined lens of humans, nature and the economy.

  3. Why was 2019 chosen as the base year for the GHG inventory?
    BCAP required preparation of a city-level GHG emissions inventory to assess the baseline. This was the city’s first attempt in preparing a GHG inventory adhering to the GPC protocol (Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories). Its preparation began in 2021 when Bengaluru, like most parts of the world, was in the throes of the pandemic. In an ideal situation, 2021 would have been the base year. However, 2019 was chosen as the base year. This was done to avoid externalities that might have impacted emissions and risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet ensure the assessments were done for the most recent year quantified with reliable data and evidence.

  4. Why did the BCAP set 2050 as the horizon year, considering India’s target year to achieve net zero is by 2070 (as per the revised NDC)?
    India, at the 26th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 26), announced its target to achieve net zero by 2070. Bengaluru has been a member of the C40 cities network since 2017 which makes it liable to comply with the targets of the 2015 Paris Agreement i.e. net zero emissions by 2050. BCAP acknowledges the 2050 net-zero as an ambition, while remaining within the Government of India’s policies on climate change action. Through an emission mitigation pathways analysis, the BCAP developed several emission scenarios for 2050 and concludes that due to several systemic barriers, beyond the control of the civic body, achieving net-zero emissions will not be possible by 2050. The maximum emission mitigation the city could achieve, by 2050 in an ambitious scenario, is around 56% of the baseline emissions. BCAP actions are based on this ambitious scenario while being cognizant that more could be achieved by 2050 if systemic barriers are overcome.

  5. How will BBMP deliver on BCAP when many sectors and actions do not directly come under BBMP’s purview?
    As the civic body and local government for Bengaluru, the primary ownership of BCAP lies with BBMP. BCAP comprises of seven priority sectors: Energy & Buildings, Transportation, Solid Waste, Air Quality, Water-Wastewater-Stormwater, Urban Planning-Greening-Biodiversity and Disaster Management. Out of these, sectors such as Solid Waste, Stormwater Management, Greening, Water Bodies, Disaster Management etc. come directly under BBMP’s purview. The role of BBMP is to spearhead the implementation of BCAP through consensus building, collaboration and coordination amongst all stakeholder agencies. While BBMP will be leading the implementation of the plan, the BCAP can be a success only with the active participation and collaboration of all stakeholders. To facilitate this, BBMP has constituted a Climate Action Cell, under the chairpersonship of Special Commissioner (Forest, Environment and Climate Change Management), with participation from all relevant stakeholder departments as representative members of the Cell. This Cell aims to ensure coordination and facilitate timely implementation of the actions laid out in the BCAP .

  6. What is the investment the city needs to make to implement the BCAP? The actions laid out in the BCAP are not a completely new set of projects requiring new investments. The primary intent of BCAP is to embed a climate change lens in the city’s planning, governance and implementation activities across different sectors. This means doing things differently with a more climate-conscious approach while aligning policies and institutional mechanisms to allow for such changes. Having said that, some of the BCAP actions may require additional funding. The first step for the city is to take-up a climate budgeting exercise to determine how much of its planned budget is aligned to BCAP actions and targets and then to determine the need for additional funding. Funding is required for setting up institutional mechanisms for supporting implementation of the BCAP. The BBMP budget 2024-25 allocated INR10 Crore for the Climate Action Cell.

    For more information on the Bengaluru Climate Action Cell for Bengaluru visit the official website - https://apps.bbmpgov.in/bcap/ or follow the hashtag #BCAPCell for updates.