How climate change is affecting Cape Town:
- Decreasing levels of average annual rainfall and changing seasonality of rainfall, which affects the amount of water to which we have access.
- An increase in the average annual temperature and increased maximum temperatures, which means an increase in hotter days, and more frequent and intense heatwaves.
- An increase in the average wind and maximum wind strength.
- Rising sea levels and increased coastal erosion.
Capetonians are familiar with the impact of climate change due to the drought we experienced in recent years. But by working together, we reduced water use by 50% in record time to avoid the worst. No other city in the world has managed to achieve this. This kind of collaborative action is what we need to become stronger, more resilient and to help reduce the impacts of climate change. So, Let’s ACT. For a Stronger Cape Town.
Tackling climate change requires that we work together. There are many simple actions, some big and some small, that each of us can take to make our city stronger.
What is the City doing?
In support of the growing global momentum to tackle climate change, Cape Town, along with cities in South Africa and worldwide, has committed to working to achieve the ambitious goal of carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2050. Importantly, reducing global warming is key. These necessary targets can only be reached through significant transitions in urban form, energy sources, transportation and resource efficiency.
Along with the Climate Change Strategy, the City is completing a Climate Change Action Plan that sets the pathway towards this goal. The City has in place many programmes that support climate change adaptation, mitigation and climate resilience, and is working towards significantly growing these.
In the adaptation and resilience work area, projects include:
- improving our water resilience
- conserving our biodiversity and protecting coastal areas
- enabling appropriate nodal development through the adoption of a coastal urban edge
To reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, our mitigation efforts include:
- driving energy efficiency in our own municipal operations
- moving towards net zero carbon buildings
- developing our own clean energy generation
- procuring energy from Independent Power Producers (IPPs)
- enabling small scale embedded generation (SSEG)
- reducing and diverting waste
- building an efficient transport network
Over the past 10 years, the City’s energy efficiency in municipal operations programme has saved more than 231 GWH of electricity. This is enough electricity to power 35 clinics over 10 years and translates into 229 035 tons of avoided carbon emissions.
- 60 City buildings retrofitted to make them more efficient
- All traffic lights retrofitted with LED lights
- 563 kWp installed rooftop solar PV on City buildings
- 34% of streetlights retrofitted
We’re already taking action, please join us
Actions you can take in your home or workplace:
- Start or support a neighbourhood food garden.
- Reduce water usage.
- Change light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones.
- Switch off non-essential lights.
- Buy energy-efficient appliances.
- Reduce, re-use and recycle, including organic waste through home composting.
- Walk or cycle to the local shop.
- Invest in a solar PV system or a solar water heater and also save on electricity bills.
- Plant indigenous, water-wise plants and trees in the garden.
- Teach children about living more sustainably.
- Investigate how your community, neighbourhood watch and faith-based groups can get involved in climate and community action to make us all, and our city, more resilient.
- Empower colleagues with knowledge about sustainability and practical solutions in the office such as reducing paper printing.
- Buy sustainably produced and organic food where possible. Let local shops know that you demand more sustainable products.
What is carbon neutrality?
Carbon neutrality means introducing new technologies to clean up the fuels and activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, while enhancing our social, economic and environmental goals. Read more about the City’s Carbon Neutral 2050 commitment.
Join us and Let’s ACT. For a Stronger Cape Town. Let’s show the world that we can do it again. DM
- Find out more about Let’s ACT. For a stronger Cape Town here.
- Experience net-zero carbon living: Click here to take a virtual tour
- Smart Living Handbook: https://bit.ly/Smartliving2020
- Save electricity: You can save at least 10%-15% on your electricity bill by developing smart energy use habits in your home. Find out how: https://savingelectricity.org.za/