Cape Town is well on its way to becoming one of the country’s greenest and most environmentally sustainable cities. The results of the City’s latest State of the Environment Report reflects that energy-related carbon emissions have been reduced by 4.1%.

This was the amount reduced between 2012 and 2015.

“Thanks to the City’s climate action projects, less carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere, thus reducing our impact on global warming,” the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille said. “This achievement is testament to the City’s efforts to be a leader among a network of global cities (the C40 Cities initiative) that is increasingly taking action to reduce their CO2 emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

Climate change may be the biggest challenge the world as a whole faces, and the City has expressed resolve to commit to the goals set during the 2015 Paris Agreement, including continuing to work with cities across the globe to reduce emissions.

In 2017, Cape Town was ranked among the top five cities in the world out of 533 cities evaluated for demonstrating leadership in our climate disclosure.

“Through this disclosure we measure our energy and climate action data annually and report the findings to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Other cities in the top five include Mexico City, Paris, Sydney, and Vancouver,” de Lille said.

The City currently measures it carbon footprint on an annual basis, and in-depth reports are conducted every five years.

“The City’s reduction of carbon emissions is largely due to a significant reduction in electricity consumption. This is thanks in part to the City’s energy efficiency campaigns and the reduced usage by residents,” the Mayor added.

Currently, the Mother City consumes and contributes the following compared to the rest of the country:

Total energy: 7%

Petrol and diesel: 10%

Electricity: 6%

GDP: 11%

The City has also implemented some of the following measures over the past year, including signing a R12.7-million grant agreement with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to fund a feasibility study on the use of natural gas, harnessing methane gas to convert into energy, and making use of more energy-efficient light bulbs to reduce its carbon footprint.

“Addressing apartheid spatial planning and creating integrated communities are some of the most important efforts the City is championing to help lower Cape Town’s carbon emissions,” de Lille said.

The transport industry is the biggest contributor to the City’s carbon emissions, and accounts for 31% of the overall carbon emissions. the residential sector accounts for 24%, while the industrial sector contributes 12%. Government accounts for a further 3% of carbon emissions and agriculture produces 1% of the City’s emissions.

While it is encouraging to see the City reducing its carbon emissions, much still needs to be done to achieve a 37% reduction in carbon emissions by 2040 or a 13% reduction by 2022, as this is set out in the City’s Energy2040 goals.

“Together with residents and the private sector, we must now push harder to reduce our carbon emissions and amplify our contributions to protect the planet for future generations,” de Lille said.

Picture: Pixabay

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.