City introduces climate change plans

The City of Cape Town has launched its Climate Change Action Plan which recognises the need for urgent climate action to protect, promote and enhance human and ecosystem health and well-being. It also shines the spotlight on the urgent need for sustainable economic recovery.

In the plan, launched on Thursday October 7, the City committed itself to a heightened level of climate change response, setting out a wide range of actions across 10 strategic focus areas and five cross-cutting work areas.

“Urgent action is required to keep global average temperature increases below 1.5 °C and reduce the climate change impacts that critically risk socio-economic development, environmental sustainability, and human health and well-being,” said Mayor Dan Plato.

“The plan sets out how the City will act to cut its share of greenhouse gas emissions while adapting to the inevitable impacts expected across human and natural systems, especially within the city’s most vulnerable communities and natural environments.

“The City’s plan is, however, not only about emissions and climate risk. It is also about using the opportunity to be a leader in transitioning to a competitive, resilient and efficient green economy.”

The plan has 10 strategic focus areas:

  • water security and drought readiness
  • water sensitivity
  • flood readiness and storm management
  • coastal management and resilience
  • managing fire risk and responsiveness
  • spatial and resource inclusivity
  • carbon-neutral energy for work creation and economic development
  • zero-emission buildings and precincts
  • mobility for quality of life and livelihoods
  • the circular waste economy

The plan also includes five cross-cutting work areas which include the actions needed to enable change in the local government and the city as a whole.

These cover the areas of governance and research, the economy, finance, communication, and human and ecosystem health.

“The City must lead by example. It must act, it must enable, it must encourage and ignite and it must drive awareness to bring real and immediate change,” said Phindile Maxiti, the City’s mayoral committee member for energy and climate change.