Tshwane pledges to tackle climate change, inequality
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Pretoria - The City of Tshwane is among the nine cities around the world that have pledged to work on an action plan aimed at tackling climate change and also at addressing inequality and economic exclusion among disadvantaged communities.
This was revealed at last week’s C40 Cities webinar, where mayors and leaders from around the world congregated to deliberate on the role of local and national governments in scaling global ambition on climate action and a just green transition.
Tshwane mayor Randall Williams said: “During this engagement we pledged, as the City of Tshwane, that we seek to ensure that climate action addresses inequality and exclusion.”
Part of the discussions focused on the need to create employment through an initiative called “climate action for jobs”, seeking “to drive climate change goals together with employment goals”, according to Williams.
He said that in South Africa inequality and how it translated into vulnerability were “critical issues that all South African cities must confront”.
Williams said: “In the preparation for the Tshwane Climate Action Plan, we have taken an evidence-based approach and commissioned the identification of climate risk zones in the updating of our climate risk and vulnerability assessment. These are areas that experience one or more climate-related hazards which could be worsened by the presence of various social or environmental stresses.”
He said the plan would craft and direct actions to the climate risk zones with a view to “reduce the impact of the hazards or to build the coping capacity for the affected communities”.
“Therefore, we aim to tackle inequality by directing City resources and partnerships to areas of extreme social vulnerability to foster a safer environment and more resilient City for its residents.”
Tshwane’s pledge would be co-ordinated by the C40 Cities climate leadership group, which is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities working to deliver the urgent action needed now to confront the climate crisis.
The C40 Cities expressed support for action plans by nine mayors from cities around the world to address issues of climate change, inequality, social justice and access to decent jobs.
Other cities that pledged to address the impact of climate change on communities are Accra, Barcelona, Cape Town, Durban, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Los Angeles and Warsaw.
“The nine cities will focus on curbing emissions, creating decent jobs, and building resilience in sectors that are the greatest contributors to the climate crisis,” the C40 said.
Accra, the capital of Ghana, will develop a new approach and new programmes to involve workers in the informal sector in climate action, initially in the waste sector. Barcelona will strengthen equity-led climate programmes that will increase climate resilience of vulnerable populations and reduce energy poverty. Cape Town, Durban, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Tshwane will collaborate to strengthen skills, knowledge and capacity on a just transition at city and national level.
Los Angeles will co-operate with civil society, unions and key stakeholders on a just transition for the city and the creation of green jobs.