Cash drought hinders metro climate plans?eastern cape

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Johannesburg scored for its efforts to encourage public transport on the Gautrain and the Rea Vaya buses and for its roll-out of solar water heaters at Cosmo City. Some municipalities are doing forward-thinking projects around green energy and creating green jobs but many are struggling, said Josephs-Langa.

eThekwini was singled out by experts as the first metro to convert landfill gas to electricity. Cape Town was the first to adopt an integrated environmental management plan in 2001 and its climate change strategies were described as consistently progressive. ItsCash drought hinders metro climate plans?eastern cape roll-out of solar geysers and retrofitted ceilings in poor households were also praised, but its water demand management strategies took flak. Nelson Mandela Bays detailed biodiversity plan was praised, as well as its plans to implement a payment for an ecosystem services programme to save its water catchment areas.

This is a small, rural, under-resourced municipality but it has achieved a lot. The process has woken up local politicians and officials to take climate change and environmental management r more seriously, she said.

She praised King Sabata Dalin­yebo municipalitys ambitious 30-year plan to create green energy from the waste that plagues towns such as Mthatha but said it was r from implementation. After adopting a 2030 green strategy, the Theewaeastern cape health vacanciesterskloof municipality in Overberg has participated in a large wind rm development and installed 8 000 solar geysers in poor households.

One expert singled out Chris Hani municipality, for working on a climate change strategy and appointing a dedicated environmental health manager despite its shoestring budget. It recently won a climate change leadership award in a national competition.

All municipalities are way behind and have very little knowledge, understanding or response strategies in place, said one expert, who asked not to be named.

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But although they generated 65% of all economic activity, they lacked the financial resources to roll out mitigation infrastructure such as solar geysers. Its a financing issue. The metros are doing pilot schemes but theyre still largely subsidised by civil society, he said.

Local authorities worldwide ce the unfunded burden of developing resilience to climate change and natural disasters, according to the World Bank Institutes Climate Change Practice. In the run-up to the COP17 climate change summit in Durban later this year, the institute and local municipalities are hosting a series of dialogues aimed at enabling towns and cities to bounce back from climatic disasters. The first takes place in Pretoria on May 26.

Jessica Wilson, of the Environ­mental Monitoring Group, recommended examining candidates economic policies and budgets to sort the truth from the rhetoric. Important issues included city planning, energy, public transport and water management.

Cash drought hinders metro climate plans?eastern cape,Local authorities are closest to the communities who will be most directly affected by climate change, such as extreme weather, droughts, floods and gradual changes in temperatures and rainll. June Josephs-Langa, the chief executive of the environment departments Indalo Yethu legacy project, said voters in next weeks municipal elections should ask about candidates environmental management plans and climate change strategies. Integrated development plans set out their commitments and, if there is no reference to sustainability or climate change, they dont take it seriously, she said.

Does your local authority promote economic growth regardless of the consequences? Wilson asked. For instance, ask if it encourages only coal-powered electricity or includes renewable energy sources. Saliem Fakir, of the World Wide Fund for Nature, said the four major metros, home to more than 38% of South Africans, had put climate change policies in place and done high-level risk assessments.

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