The city’s newly launched climate change response and resilience campaign, “Let’s Act. For a Stronger Cape Town”, aims to encourage residents, communities, businesses and organisations to join the call to help build a stronger, healthier, more equal and sustainable future-fit Cape Town.
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 hotter days, and more frequent and intense heatwaves;
An increase in the average wind and maximum wind strength; and
Rising sea levels and increased coastal erosion.
Capetonians are familiar with the impact of climate change due to the drought experienced in recent years. But by working together, water use was reduced by 50% to avoid the worst. No other city in the world has managed to achieve this. Collaborative action is what we need to become stronger, more resilient and to help reduce the impact of climate change.
There are many simple actions, some big and some small, that everyone can take to make the city stronger.
What is the city doing?
In support of the growing global momentum to tackle climate change, Cape Town and other cities — in SA and worldwide — have committed to working to achieve the ambitious goal of carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2050. Reducing global warming is key. These necessary targets can only be reached through significant transitions in urban form, energy sources, transport and resource efficiency.
The city is also completing a Climate Change Action Plan with many programmes in place that support climate change adaptation, mitigation and climate resilience, and is working towards growing these.
In the adaptation and resilience work area, projects include:
improving our water resilience;
conserving our biodiversity and protecting coastal areas; and
enabling appropriate nodal development through the adoption of a coastal urban edge.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the city’s 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;
enabling small-scale embedded generation;
reducing and diverting waste; and
building an efficient transport network.