City of Johannesburg tackles climate change through three webinars

The City of Johannesburg’s Environment and Infrastructure Services Department’s (EISD) Climate Change unit is currently hosting three webinars dedicated to the city’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) implementation. 

This initiative is designed to introduce Johannesburg residents and stakeholders to the CAP and explore key topics related to the plan. It aims to facilitate knowledge exchange, share leadership stories and promote collective action in pursuit of the city’s climate goals. 

In collaboration with Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA), this endeavour is supported by the UK PACT, which has been partnering with South Africa since June 2020 to support the acceleration of the just transition and a low-carbon economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.

It encompasses the CAP External Action Tracking project of the City of Johannesburg. Furthermore, C40 Climate Leadership Group, together with the South African Cities Network (SACN) are strategic partners, offering networking, hosting, and facilitation support. The three-part webinars will delve into different aspects of climate change and its impact on the City.

Each session is designed not only to showcase the city’s leadership in climate action but also to highlight contributions from the private sector and the community.

These collaborative efforts are essential for realising the city’s ambitious climate objectives.An overview of the topics to be covered in each webinar:Webinar 1 (13 October) – Climate Action Chronicles: Inspiring Leadership and the Path Ahead.

This initial session provided an overview of the City of Johannesburg’s Climate Action Plan. It featured leadership stories from the City, the private sector, the community and the youth, who have been instrumental in driving impactful climate action.

Webinar 2 (20 October) – Rooted Resilience: Mapping Heatwaves, Managing Floods, and Planting Trees for a Climate-Ready Future. The second webinar, commemorating the International Disaster Risk Reduction Day (commemorated on 13 October 2023), will focus on the city’s resilience in the face of climate change. It will include discussions on heatmapping, flood management and urban tree-planting initiatives.

Webinar 3 (27 October) – Powering Progress: Unleashing Energy Wheeling, Green Buildings, and Low Emissions Zones for a Sustainable FutureThe final installment, focusing on energy management, will feature contributions from City Power officials. The session will also delve into low-emissions zones within the transport sector and the significance of green building practices in alignment with the CAP.

During the first webinar, Lebo Molefe, the Director of Climate Change and Air Quality in the City of Johannesburg, emphasised the CAP’s objective of “putting the City on the path towards achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience by the year 2050”.

Molefe underscored the urgency of climate action, stating that “the climate crisis demands swift, collective action to secure a sustainable future for all”.The City is committed to addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions across various sectors, including buildings, energy, waste management, wastewater, and transportation. It is also focused on developing strategies to enhance resilience in the face of climate change impacts.

The event featured notable speakers including Matsobane Malema, Programme Coordinator: from the City’s Food Resilience unit, Maruping Chiloane, the City’s Building Control Office (BCO), Feroz Koor, Group Sustainability Officer at Woolworths SA, and Yola Mafuna, a socio-economic activist and Secretary at Innovative Youth.

They discussed a wide range of topics, including urban agriculture, green building policies, corporate sustainability efforts and community empowerment. The youth called on the City to simplify the language used to explain climate change and work towards integrating these topics into the school curriculum, emphasising the importance of educating future generations about climate change and climate action implementation.

The City of Johannesburg is committed to fostering a sustainable, climate-resilient future, and these webinars represent a significant step in that direction.

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