Energy efficient and low maintenance BEKA Schréder LED AVENTO 3 street lights illuminates the N1 highway in Cape Town. Image credit: BEKA Schréder
The City of Cape Town has received an A-rating for climate action and transparency – the only African city awarded this status in 2023.
This is according to the 2023 Cities A-List published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a global non-profit that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system for states, cities, and companies.
In 2023, only 13% of the over 930 cities that were scored received an A. The CDP scores cities from A to D based on their climate change response disclosure each year. The score indicates how effectively cities are managing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate risks.
This A-list rating affirms Cape Town’s status as Africa’s leading city for climate action. It is also an important signal to the international investor community, and finance institutions, who make investment decisions based on this level of climate action transparency.
Investor confidence is vital for delivering on our R120 billion ten-year infrastructure portfolio, which includes major climate action projects to build energy and water security.
Cape Town is at the forefront of the great energy transition from unreliable, costly and fossil fuel based energy, to reliable, cost-effective, carbon neutral energy. In the short-term, we plan to add up to 650MW to our grid, enough to protect against four Eskom load-shedding stages by 2026.
The City is also looking to add new alternative water sources totalling around 300 million litres (Ml) per day by 2030.
According to the CDP, A-List cities are taking four times as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List cities.
To score an A, a city must disclose its climate actions through CDP-ICLEI Track, have a city-wide emissions inventory, and a published climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment, and have a climate adaptation goal to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards.
The City is pleased that Cape Town has retained its A-list status every year since the new ratings system began in 2019. At a policy level, we have committed to achieving the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. This commitment is embedded in our Climate Change Strategy and related Action Plan, which set the pathway towards this goal.
How climate change is affecting Cape Town
Decreasing rainfall and increased risk of drought
Hotter temperatures leading to more frequent and intense heat waves and very hot days
Rising sea levels and increased coastal erosion
Increased risk of flooding due to intense rainfall events
Hot, dry, and windy conditions leading to increased wildfire risk
What is carbon neutrality?
Carbon neutrality means introducing new technologies to clean up the fuels and activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, while enhancing our social, economic and environmental goals.
Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.