Going Green: Cape Town named as Top 5 global leader for climate disclosure

2017-03-27 11:48 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - SA's Mother City has been ranked as one of the top five cities in the world for being climate-conscious and sustainable.

This is according to the global Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which recognised Cape Town for accurately measuring and disclosing it energy and climate action data on an annual basis. 

Cape Town leading the pack

The City of Cape Town’s 2016 submission to the CDP included actions such as reducing emissions through waste management at landfill sites, lower carbon energy supply generation, on-site renewable energy generation, sourcing 10% to 20% of our electricity from renewable energy, and supporting the development of clean technology industries and initiatives to increase energy security. 

The nod from the CDP sees Cape Town as a leader of over 500 cities, 100 state and regional governments, and 5 800 companies who are now measuring and disclosing climate action data on an annual basis in order to manage emissions, build resilience, and protect themselves from the growing impacts of climate change. 

Every year, the CDP and quantity surveyor AECOM highlight cities which are excelling in climate disclosure and showcase each city’s efforts with an InFocus Report. Of the 533 cities from around the world that disclosed to CDP in 2016, Cape Town scored the highest in its region and was awarded an InFocus Report.

Green initiatives filtering down 

The City's efforts to Go Green has also been echoed by local businesses and the general public, with the current drive to save water serving as case in point. 

According to leading South African retailers like takealot.com, more and more people trying to be climate conscious. Takealot’s Chief Marketing Officer Julie-Anne Walsh said in a report reflecting SA's National Water Week that the retailer is seeing water wise sales soar, with people investing in technology and appliances that support a water wise lifestyle. 

"Takealot.com has seen a 75% rise in sales of water-wise products and have increased their range of these products by 25% to cope with the demand," Walsh says. "Simple, affordable solutions like watering cans and buckets have seen the biggest increase overall with other products like rainwater tank filters and water-saving shower heads doing particularly well."

ALSO SEE: #WorldWaterDay: Innovations to save water a global must

Even this simplest of changes in people's buying behaviour shows that more and more South Africans are taking on to green and sustainable initiatives, which all adds to Cape Town being named one of the leaders for climate-consciousness and sustainability.  

Taking a global stand on local ground 

Cities across the world are taking bold action to implement the COP21 Paris Agreement demonstrating their ambition to address climate change by reducing emissions, adapting to climate impacts, and establishing low-carbon economies. 

South Africa joined this sustainable drive last year, with Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa signing the COP21 Paris Agreement on behalf of the South African Government

READ: #FutureIsClean: SA's plans to reduce global warming

The Mother City has since taken up arms in leading the way for sustainability in SA. "Cape Town is determined to continue leading the way through our range of projects to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change," Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says.

"Cities are the drivers of change and the site of development and we are committed to our duty to embed responsible environmental practices into all the work we do."

ALSO SEE: Greening the Cape: R110m saved as 32% reduction in electricity use reported

A most recent initiative from the City of Cape Town, which aims to complete the city's notorious unfinished highways in an inclusive and sustainable manner, has also been welcomed. 

Although futuristic, the design elements present in all proposals offered by bidders in an attempt to overhaul the City of Cape Town's unfinished freeways in the foreshore boasts an element of green development, which will see the inclusions of urban parks, dedicated cycle routes and more. 

In less than two years, construction is expected to change this eye-sore of Cape Town, with a project aimed at easing the Mother City's traffic woes as well as offering affordable and inclusive housing within the city bowl. 

SEE: 6 Possible ways Cape Town's unfinished freeway bridges will be transformed 

Tackling climate change through urban action

The CDP has partnered with the C40 Cities Leadership Group in connecting more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing over 650 million people and one-quarter of the global economy. 

Created and led by cities, the C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks while increasing health, well-being and economic opportunities for urban residents. 

Cape Town’s work in measuring and reporting the data for city-dwellers' actions to address climate change to the CDP is in line with this commitment of the Global Covenant of Mayors and Cape Town’s membership in C40.  

The CDP is a not-for-profit organisation that provides the global platform for cities and companies to manage, measure and disclose their energy and climate data. 

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