Climate Strike march from Hanover Street to Parliament to hand over a memorandum. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - COPE is expected to table a motion at this month’s council meeting to declare a climate emergency.

The party’s Farouk Cassim said: “City governments are experiencing immense citizen pressure, especially from young people to act with speed and commitment in respect of tackling climate change.

“In recent days, Paris and Toronto also declared a climate emergency.”

Cassim proposed that the council immediately declare a climate emergency and commits itself to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by doing whatever it takes.

“It is now common cause that the months of June, July and September have been the hottest experienced on Earth in four centuries.

“The Earth is heating up quickly and alarmingly; it is doing so faster than anyone projected,” he said.

Cape Town is facing issues such as air pollution, water contamination, the drought crisis and abnormally high summer temperatures, while around the world leaders have started declaring a climate emergency.

Earlier this month Barrie city council in Ontario, Canada, gave a tentative unanimous nod to a motion declaring a climate emergency.

It added its name to nearly 300 other municipalities across Canada in declaring such an emergency.

The declaration has city staff in key departments looking into the creation of a Climate Change Mitigation Plan that would search for ways of reducing the city’s carbon emissions, with a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Professor Leslie Petrik, in the department of chemistry at UWC said: “Our country is experiencing the effects of climate change induced by over-reliance upon and over-consumption of fossil fuels globally.

“South Africans and Capetonians can do more to curb emissions of CO2, as South Africa is a signatory to the global accords and should act accordingly.

“However, a state of emergency in Cape Town is not an effective route to induce global cultural change elsewhere, especially in countries like the US, which refuses to acknowledge their contribution to the crisis,” Petrik said.

“In terms of excessive temperatures and water shortages these are issues that we are going to have to adapt to.

“Cape Town has already taken some measures to mitigate the effects of drought by awareness campaigns to induce behavioural changes, and by planning to introduce wastewater reuse and desalination,” Petrik said.


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Cape Argus