cape town’s plan for energy and climate change launched

Submitted by incoming on Thu, 2011-12-08 10:15

climate smart cape townclimate smart cape townThe award-winning Climate Smart Cape Town Pavilion at COP17 in Durban was the venue for the launch of ‘Moving Mountains, Cape Town’s Action Plan for Energy and Climate Change’.

The City of Cape Town’s Energy and Climate Action Plan has 11 objectives, with targets and detailed implementation plans involving over 40 programmes and more than 120 projects. The Action Plan is managed and coordinated by the City’s Environmental Resource Management Department, across all Directorates and Departments.

Speaking at the launch on Friday 2 December 2011, Councillor Gareth Bloor, Chair of the City’s Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning Portfolio Committee stated that the City of Cape Town acknowledges climate change as one of the greatest challenges of our generation and seeks to use it as an opportunity to build a better future for all. He commented that Cape Town’s response to climate change must be a collective partnership between government, business and civil society. In his address, the Councillor noted that climate change is an economic, social and development issue and that mitigation and adaptation responses must be at the core of government planning so as to offer opportunities for changing to a more equitable, sustainable development path.

Renewable energy sources

“Energy drives our city, our lives and our economy. Renewable energy sources and increased energy efficiency to meet carbon emission reduction targets are urgent priorities to avoid catastrophic climate change and to promote economic competitiveness and job creation. Climate change presents opportunities to build a green economy, create jobs, develop a more compact city which is more resource-efficient, integrated and equitable,” said Cllr Bloor.

The Action Plan documents Cape Town’s energy supply, consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and notes that Cape Town’s profile differs significantly from the rest of South Africa. Industry and mining account for 55% of energy consumption nationally, while in Cape Town industry accounts for only 14%. Nationally, residential and commercial demand account for only 13%, while in Cape Town these sectors account for 34%.

“This very different profile, combined with the tight supply situation, a large services sector and tourism industry, its desired-for reputation as a green city and its distance from coalmines and generation, presents Cape Town with a different set of strategic challenges, such as the need to shrink the city’s carbon footprint and to localise energy supply,” said Cllr Bloor.

a likely effect of climate changea likely effect of climate changeThe Councillor emphasised that maintaining Cape Town’s international reputation and competitiveness is an additional imperative for reducing energy consumption and for pursuing larger quantities of renewable energy in its supply mix. “This means not only that the City must intervene pro-actively in national resource development planning, but that the City must also support and facilitate local projects such as solar water heating, solar photo-voltaics and small wind turbines on house, mall and factory rooftops, for own supply and for feeding back into the grid,” he said.

The Energy and Climate Change Action Plan objectives are:

  1. City-wide: 10% reduction in electricity consumption by 2012, off a ‘business-as-usual’ baseline
  2. City operations: 10% reduction in energy consumption by 2012
  3. 10% renewable and cleaner energy supply by 2020. Meet growth in electricity demand with cleaner/renewable supply
  4. Build a more compact, resource-efficient city
  5. Develop a more sustainable transport system
  6. Adapt to and build resilience to climate change impacts
  7. Improve the resilience of vulnerable communities
  8. Enable local economic development in the energy sector
  9. Access climate finance
  10. Raise awareness and promote behaviour change through communication and education
  11. Recruit staff; undertake research and development; establish data management systems; conduct monitoring and evaluation; update plan annually

“We believe that a city that pays attention to the source of its power, its energy, food and livelihoods, a connected, integrated city of neighbourhoods and communities, is the kind of city of which we all dream. We have called this publication Moving Mountains, not only because it is a catchy name that calls to mind our world-famous landmark, but also because there are surely those who think that reducing our carbon footprint and acting on climate change is impossible. Only the courageous pursuit of low-carbon living will get us there and this Action Plan shows us how,” added Councillor Bloor.

Download Moving Mountains: Cape Town's Action Plan for Energy and Climate Change here