A forum that will involve the corporate sector in activities aimed at the sustainable development of the city, particularly towards making Chennai a better place to live, was launched at a function here on Wednesday.

The Sustainable Chennai Forum of the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry would also help evolve a congenial policy for the city's development.

The announcement regarding the Forum was made at a seminar on ‘Cities and climate change', organised at the Madras University by MCCI and UN-Habitat. Speakers at the meeting, organised to mark World Habitat Day, underscored the need to take action for a better city and better life.

In her keynote address, Santha Sheela Nair, Vice-Chairman, State Planning Commission, said the country was close to vulnerability of a certain kind and the need was to harness technology to face the challenges. “Let us invest to create more, learn to create more with less and accelerate access,” she said.

G. Thiruvasagam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras, said the impact of climate change cannot be ignored. Nearly 190 countries are prone to climate-related hazards. “Climate risk is also a serious economic threat,” he said.

Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai, said reducing carbon emission and keeping the economy growing were possible with suitable policy changes.

The Sustainable Chennai Forum will assess and promote a business case for sustainable development, said K. Saraswathi, secretary general of MCCI. Paul G. Prokop, Vice-Consul, US Consulate General, G. Dattatri of SUSTAIN and T.Shivaraman, vice-president of MCCI spoke.

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