The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) Mayoral Committee has launched a city-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP) with the objective of transitioning towards carbon neutrality and a resilient city by 2050.
The CAP seeks to contribute to the objectives of the city’s Growth & Development Plan and aligns with the aspirations and objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The CAP reaffirms CoJ’s commitment to supporting the well-being and livelihoods of all its citizens by pursuing a sustainable and just recovery, as the Covid-19 crisis further assisted in highlighting the potential severity of the climate breakdown.
The CAP has been championed by the Environment & Infrastructure Services Department (EISD) and co-created with all key departments and entities, is consistent with the provision of outcome two of the Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) 2040, which makes provision for a resilient, liveable, sustainable urban environment, and is underpinned by smart infrastructure supportive of a low carbon economy.
It also responds to strategic priority 9 (Sustainable Environmental Development) of the Government of Local Unity (GLU).
On the international front, the CoJ’s CAP intends to fulfil the goals of the Paris Agreement, which commits signatories to holding the increase in global temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 °C.
As a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the City’s CAP is partly guided by the “Deadline 2020” report that was published by C40 in 2016 as a practical response and demonstration by cities, partially fulfilling the Paris Agreement.
To ensure implementation takes place, the plan has immediate, short- and medium-term planning and implementation horizons, and demonstrates that climate change is not solely an environmental issue, but that it is also linked to the challenges of eradicating poverty, accelerating service delivery and increasing inclusiveness, CoJ mayor Geoffrey Makhuba said during the launch on June 3.
“The CAP will ensure that the Johannesburg of the future will be carbon neutral and resilient to the devastating impacts of climate change, for the benefit of all its residents,” the mayor said, emphasising that the CoJ would work towards these overarching goals step by step, through targets set with different deadlines (2025, 2030, 2040 and 2050).
Climate change initiatives offer the CoJ an opportunity to raise living standards for all at a faster rate by following a low-carbon and resilience development path, the city stated.
The CAP seeks to accelerate implementation in ten areas to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and adapt to climate change, including ensuring affordable and clean energy, while also optimising energy efficiency in buildings and enabling next generation mobility, with a focus on providing access to safe, affordable and carbon-neutral transport.
The plan further seeks to improve waste management, water supply security and treatment, while also ensuring resilient human settlements, managing the impacts of floods and droughts and ensuring and implementing a resilient city infrastructure.
All of this will lead to ensuring a healthy community, the CAP envisions.