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EThekwini Municipality has been lauded by Mayors attending the C40 World Mayor’s Summit in Copenhagen for being the first city in Africa to develop the Climate Action Plan aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

Tabling the plan at the pre-summit meeting of African Mayors, eThekwini Municipality Mayor and Vice Chairperson for Africa, Mxolisi Kaunda said that the plan will go a long way towards creating a climate resilient and carbon neutral city.

In response to the Paris Agreemenet, the plan seeks to accelerate the action required to limit temperature increase to 1.5 Degrees Celsius which is vital to avoid catastrophic impacts facing vulnerable communities.

It also comprises of 33 actions and 149 sub-actions aligned to nine thematic areas that provide a pathway for Durban to achieve climate resilience and carbon neutrality.

According to the plan, by 2030, Durban will have achieved 40% reduction in emissions and 80% reduction by 2050.

“Recently, eThekwini Municipality experienced devastating floods. This was an indication that the business as usual approach on climate change was no longer an option and we needed to do things differently. We are pleased that this plan responds precisely to the challenges we are facing,” said Kaunda.

During his address at the African Mayors and Delegates Dialogue, Kaunda thanked the Mayors for taking an initiative to address climate change in Africa in a manner that is relevant for the African context.

“As African leaders, we always advocate for African solutions to African problems. From the discussion we have had, it is clear that if C40 work is to succeed in Africa, we must – among other things integrate inclusivity and resilience in our work recognising that vulnerable communities in Africa bear the brunt of climate-related disasters. Therefore, let us work as a collective to accelerate the transition to resilient and carbon neutral cities,” said Kaunda.

The Mayors of Accra, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Lagos and Abijan commended eThekwini for leading the way, adding that with the appointment of Kaunda as Vice Chairperson for Africa, eThekwini will be in a better position to provide guidance to other municipalities in the continent.

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