South African businesses and municipalities have signed up for a new global initiative – the Alliance for Climate Action - to push for accelerated climate action.
According to a statement from the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF SA), these businesses and municipalities were part of a "global groundswell of businesses, cities, regions and civil society role-players taking action in the face of climate change challenges and positioning themselves to lead in a low-carbon world".
The South African chapter was announced at a side event of the UN secretary general's climate summit in New York. The summit forms part of Climate Week NYC - which started on Monday and ends on Sunday - which brings together players from across the world to accelerate climate action.
The South African businesses and cities, who signed the climate declaration, committed themselves to working hand-in-hand with the South African government to accelerate the implementation of its pledge to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The following entities joined: Vodacom, Virgin Active, Liberty Holdings Limited, the City of Cape Town, Ethekwini Municipality, Intelligent Transport Society South Africa, Pinpoint, MISER Hybrid Technologies RSA, Mellow Cabs, electric vehicle manufacturers, the Sustainable Energy Society Southern Africa (SESSA) and Thorny Bush game lodges.
"While the national government has made climate change commitments, real action comes from those with the power to shift economies such as businesses and local authorities," said WWF SA CEO Morné du Plessis.
"Those who have agreed to join Alliances for Climate Action to work toward a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 lead by their actions and will inspire others to follow."
The Alliance for Climate Action South Africa will form part of a global network that aims to build domestic constituencies for climate action, working with national governments to accelerate progress toward Paris Agreement targets.
The first country-level alliance was launched in Japan in 2018 followed by Mexico. Others who have joined include Argentina and Vietnam.