Nine cities from six African nations have agreed to reduce their carbon emissions to meet the Paris Agreement goals. These major metropolitans are aiming to reach zero emissions by 2050.
Four cities in South Africa have made the pledge; Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria. Other cities joining the agreement include Accra (Ghana), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Lagos (Nigeria) and Dakar (Senegal).
It is expected that Nairobi in Kenya and Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire will soon announce their plans to participate in the agreement as well. Johannesburg is currently the only African city in the global top 10 large cities with the lowest carbon emissions.
“If one considers that 90% of South Africa’s waste is disposed of at landfill sites and that this amounts to 98 million tonnes of waste deposited across 826 landfills each year, then it is time for all of us – business, industry and society – to start thinking differently,” says Averda South Africa managing director Johan van den Berg.
All sectors will need to participate in zero carbon emissions
The main industries and sectors that will need to take part in reducing emissions include transport, waste management, agriculture and energy production. Some of these sectors in participating cities have already begun the process of reaching zero carbon emissions.
These nine cities form part of a network of metropolitans from around the globe, called C40 Cities, that is working towards finding common solutions to climate change. Africa has been identified as a continent that is particularly vulnerable to climate change – as seen with the recent weather patterns and prolonged droughts in certain areas of South Africa.
“Internationally, global drivers like pollution, climate change and resource scarcity have resulted in the development of a number of sustainable alternatives to waste disposal, and here in South Africa, these opportunities for innovative solutions remains to be explored,” says van den Berg.
“It’s important for South Africans to understand that waste management is not only a cost decision. If more people demand innovation and sustainable waste management methods the market for alternative solutions in South Africa will begin to grow,” he says.
Reaching the goal will be challenging
The process of reaching the zero carbon emission goal will not be easy or cheap and will require participation from all sectors of the economy. Each industry will have a responsibility to use clean energy where possible, such a solar and wind.
Green sources of energy are expensive to purchase an install, so the cities are working on solutions to aid these sectors in purchasing alternative energy devices. Nevertheless, it is an important undertaking. The World Bank predicts that Africa will account for half of the global population growth by 2050.
With this boom in population will come an increased demand for energy. Becoming zero carbon economies by 2050 is now a priority for participating C40 Cities.
Image credit: © Joshua Oates
Averda is a leading waste management provider with over 50 years of experience across three continents. Through growth, transformation and engagement, we strive to find new ways of managing waste while protecting the community and environment.
By pairing international expertise with local insights, we have secured our position as one of South Africa’s most respected providers of waste management and industrial cleaning services. We also operate in the recycling, pipe inspection, CCTV, infrastructure inspection, hydro-demolition, high-pressure water jetting and catalyst handling industries.
Follow us Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the best tips on recycling and the latest industry news. See our Instagram and YouTube channels for more insights into environmental affairs and our work with local communities.