Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has promised that Cape Town would take bold steps on climate change.
De Lille was speaking at the Cape Town Climate Change Coalition meeting on April 18 and said it was pleasure to join people who were committed to responding to climate change in Cape Town.
“The impact of climate change has the ability to compound existing challenges in urban environments.
“For this reason, the City of Cape Town is overlaying all our decisions that we make on a daily basis with the impacts of climate change,” she said, adding that the had to factor the impact of climate change when they made their plans.
De Lille said mayors around the world were increasingly turning their attention to the challenge of climate change, and she pointed to the words of the former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, who cited that climate change might be “the most complicated challenge of our time” and who advised that it was necessary to show people the immediate benefits of taking action.
De Lille followed this line of thinking, saying: “We are not waiting for national governments and large corporations to act.
“We are responsible for the growth and well-being of our local economies and our residents.”
She added they needed to build more resilient cities by factoring their response to climate change in all the work they do, and she highlighted the initiatives in the City since she last addressed the Climate Change Coalition.
One of these initiatives is a draft Climate Change Policy, which she said was a new approach for the city as climate change had previously been addressed within the City’s environmental policy, and it was hoped it would be formally adopted by Council soon.
De Lille further mentioned that Cape Town was a member of a network of over 90 cities that worked to reduce carbon emissions, the C40 Climate Leadership Group; the City was committed to reducing carbon emissions and diversifying the energy supply as part of it’s Energy2040 Goal; and, that there was an aim to source 20% of the city’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Relative to other cities in the country, De Lille said Cape Town used less electricity per unit of production per person and that electricity saving campaigns had been successful.
De Lille turned her attention to the matter of availability of water, saying the drought provided the opportunity to focus on appropriate responses. “There are immediate interventions that are being undertaken to respond to the drought crisis,” she said.
“We are currently reviewing our 30-year water plan to give greater consideration to climate change so that we can to see a shift where Cape Town will become a water-sensitive city.”
De Lille also shared that she was recently invited to become a member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and said through the commission, she intended to “critically engage with other government leaders about how to seek economic opportunities in responding to climate change”.
— Patricia de Lille (@PatriciaDeLille) April 19, 2017