City of Johannesburg (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Joburg Forges Ahead As Green City

Johannesburg — Climate change is a reality. The City of Johannesburg is already feeling the impact of climatic changes in the form of frequent floods, drought, heat waves and extreme thunderstorms.

The City anticipates significant increases in both temperatures and rainfall in Joburg over the next forty to fifty years. This will have a major impact on infrastructure, health, biodiversity, human settlements, industry and food security.

As the City gears up to host the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Mayors Summit from 4 to 6 February 2014, the Executive Mayor of City of Johannesburg Councillor Mpho Parks Tau says "he impact of the choices we make today will be evident in the atypical weather conditions the latter half of the century will experience. To reduce this future impact, the City is implementing adaptation measures as a proactive response to climate changes."

To mitigate the impact of climate change, Joburg's focus is on resource efficiency. Resource efficiency includes the development of green transportation like the Rea Vaya rapid bus transport system, climate resilient and energy efficient buildings (like the Cosmo City housing project or the Alexandra urban renewal project).

Resource efficiency also includes green infrastructure development across the energy, transport, water, waste, housing and building sectors. These green projects include: Recycling of waste, converting landfill gas to energy to generate green electricity and removing greenhouse gas emissions, installing solar geysers in selected housing developments, retro-fitting identified households with energy saving light bulbs, promoting water conservation initiatives such as water harvesting and greening the city by planting trees to name but a few.

A liveable and resilient city is a city that is climate-proofed against these extreme weather conditions through adaption and mitigation. The City's responses to climate change can be seen as promoting proactive development pathways, one of which is the hosting of the C40 Global Summit, the first for the African continent.

Mayor Tau says, "Climate change is a global problem that affects current and future generations. Our responses must therefore be collaborative and intensive. Citizens are urged to become part of the solution."

Green Choice Tips for Citizens:

  • Recycle your waste, and make your own organic compost.
  • Use water sparingly, report water leaks and where possible implement water saving mechanisms within households and businesses.
  • Use electricity responsibly, investigate alternative sources of energy and where possible switch to electricity saving measures like solar geysers and energy saving light bulbs.
  • Plant trees and grow your own fruit and vegetables.

The choices we make today will determine the future of our city, country and planet.

For further information on C40 Cities Mayors Summit, please visit http://c40summitjohannesburg.org/

Story first published on the City of Johannesburg website.

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