Nine cities across Africa, a continent vulnerable to climate change, are taking action. Recently, these cities pledged to deliver their share of carbon emissions reductions to hit Paris Agreement goals. The cities, several of which are major capitals, aim to reach zero carbon economies in just over 30 years.
African cities will work to reduce emissions from things such as transport, buildings, energy production and waste management – an effort some have already started. https://t.co/nqU1xf4jb2 #Cities4Climate pic.twitter.com/tKp5sRugOe
— C40 Cities (@c40cities) May 20, 2018
Transportation, waste management and energy production are among the sectors African cities will tackle to lower emissions — and some cities have already started working toward their goals, according to C40 Cities, a network of cities around the world battling climate change. At a recent urban climate action planning meeting, Mohammed Adjei Sowah — mayor of Accra, the capital of Ghana and a participating city — said, “We cannot ignore the implications of what will befall us if we do not act now.”
Other cities joining Accra include Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Lagos in Nigeria, Dakar in Senegal, and four in South Africa: Durban, Tshwane, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. C40 Cities executive director Mark Watts said they expect that Nairobi in Kenya and Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire will soon submit plans to participate.
It won’t be an easy task — according to Reuters and the World Bank, of the top 10 large cities around the world with the lowest emissions, just one, Johannesburg, is currently in Africa. Nor will it be cheap; Heinrich Boll Foundation project coordinator Ikenna Ofoegbu told Reuters, “Each sector — like agriculture, power, transport — has its own strategies to encourage cleaner energy rather than use of fossil fuels. But these solutions are capital intensive.”
But it’s certainly an important task, as the World Bank projects 70 percent of the world’s population could reside in cities by 2050, and it’s anticipated Africa could account for half of global population growth by 2050.