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Cape Town’s New Climate Change Strategy Aims to Make City Stronger

23 July 2021

The City of Cape Town’s Climate Change Strategy is now available online as a digital publication

The City’s vision is to help make Cape Town a climate resilient, resource efficient, and carbon neutral city that enables inclusive economic development and healthy, thriving communities and ecosystems.

Climate change is of significant concern to the City because of immediate and long-term impacts. The City faces the dual challenges of working to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to make the city resilient to future climate shocks and stresses, while also working to ensure that we contribute to global efforts to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.

There is also a need to ensure that Cape Town is not left behind in a rapidly changing global economy that is shifting toward carbon neutrality.

“During the public participation process between September and October 2020, over 900 comments were received. These were considered and included in the final version of the strategy. These comments significantly strengthened the strategy and highlighted that the residents of Cape Town take a great interest in climate change and how the City, its residents, organisations and businesses are responding to this challenge. Based on the comments received, a new cross-cutting work area, focused on ecosystem health as well as human health and wellbeing, was added to the strategy,” said Cape Town Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato.

“The strategy confirms the City’s commitment to take the necessary action to adapt to the impacts of climate change, to mitigate climate change and significantly reduce carbon emissions, and to harness the opportunities of a new green economy. Taking a proactive approach to climate change will also assist Cape Town’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as the green economy offers new opportunities to enterprises and jobseekers. A proactive response to climate change also means seeking new ways to deliver essential services in a more inclusive, cost-effective and sustainable manner. Proactive planning and implementation to address anticipated impacts will also be more cost effective in the long-term.”

The Strategy includes ten core principles for a climate resilient and carbon neutral future:

Strategic focus and cross-cutting work areas to reduce emissions and adapt to a changing future:

The City recognises that the economic, health and mental well-being impacts of Covid-19 have been severe.

Said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti: “We know that it can be difficult to think about climate change at a time like this, when everyone is already experiencing much stress and worry. However, we know that climate change hasn’t gone away and is continuing to pose a significant challenge at the same time as we are experiencing the effects of the pandemic.”

“This new Climate Change Strategy is therefore an important step in setting the City on the right path for the future and ensuring that we are able to build back better. The recently launched Let’s Act. For a Stronger Cape Town Campaign encourages residents and business to play their part in responding to climate change, where they are able to, as well as providing information on the many ways that the City is already taking action to address this threat. Importantly, this needs a collective effort and we will only be able to take effective climate action when we all play our part.”

View the Strategy here.

For more information, visit the City’s Climate Change webpage.