Press Release: Joburg forges ahead as Green City by adapting to climate changes

MEDIA RELEASE

14 January 2014, Gauteng, SA

Joburg forges ahead as Green City by adapting to climate changes.

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/

[End…]

Nkosinathi Nkabinde
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011 407 6477

Issued on behalf of City of Joburg

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Jean Robertson
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Phumzile Ntola
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+27 82 7752703

C40 Cities Mayors Summit Boilerplate:

From Tuesday the 4th to Thursday the 6th of February 2014, the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) will be proudly hosting the fifth biennial C40 Cities Mayors Summit - the first time the event will be taking place in Africa. Only three other African cities are part of C40 namely Cairo, Lagos and Addis Abba.

The Summit is delivered by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities Program, and will be co-hosted by the Executive Mayor of City of Johannesburg Councillor Mpho Parks Tau and 108th Mayor of New York City and Chair of C40, Michael Bloomberg. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world, committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable global climate-related actions that generate measurable reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate risks.

The theme of the 2014 C40 Cities Mayors Summit is ‘Towards resilient and liveable megacities - demonstrating action, impact and opportunity’.

Mayors and senior city officials from over 63 leading cities around the world, will come together to discuss the climate change challenges facing their cities, and share insights based on the actions they’ve taken to reduce GHG emissions. Around 700 urban and climate change leaders will join them in a series of roundtable discussions and working sessions to focus on the themes of resilient and liveable megacities, GHG measurement and adaptation, and impact and opportunity. While cities only occupy 2% of the Earth’s landmass, they contain over 50% of the world’s population, use two-thirds of its energy and generate over 70% of global CO2 emissions. With 90% of the world’s urban areas situated on coastlines, cities are at high risk from some of the climate change impacts, such as rising sea levels and powerful coastal storms.

Hosting the event will be a historic moment for Johannesburg, South Africa, and the African continent which is clear recognition of the growing role that South Africa plays in finding solutions to the most pressing issues facing the globe. During the Summit, Joburg will demonstrate its current actions towards climate resilience with great environmental sustainability impacts through initiatives including:

  • Sustainable Communities: Schools Climate Proofing
  • Green Transportation: Rea Vaya - BRT I
  • Integrated Waste Management: Separation at Source
  • Water Management: Lanseria Reservoir - Johannesburg Water SOC’s project of constructing a new 20ML water reservoir and a 1.2ML water tower in Lanseria with a value of R39.5 Million 

Joburg is a world-class events destination and a progressive entity with strong and competent leadership who is passionate about actualising environmental sustainability across all its regions.