• Climate Change

Climate Change

 On a global scale, South Africa’s contributes less than 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions but (in absolute terms) is the 13th highest carbon dioxide emitter in the world, with per capita emissions higher than many European countries and over 3.5 times higher than the average developing country. This is as a result of a highly energy-intensive economy and reliance on coal-based electricity.


Climate change impacts are not likely to be experienced evenly throughout the country, and impoverished communities are particularly vulnerable. Over a third of South Africa’s population is highly vulnerable to both sudden and harmful climatic shocks, with low levels of endogenous resilience, adaptation, and coping skills. SACN has partnered with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to implement a programme on climate change. The Local Government Programme on Climate Change looks at seven technologies that can help municipalities in mitigating and adapting to climate change: solar water heaters (SWH), solar power (PV), wind power, waste to energy, energy efficiency in municipal buildings and infrastructure, reforestation and greening, and rainwater harvesting tanks (RWH).

Food Security: "Urban agriculture may have a significant role to play in strengthening the food security of cities and building urban resilience in a changing climate"  Read more here


  • South African Local Government Response to Climate Change. This publication showcases local government’s response to climate change thus emphasizing the role it ought to play in combating climate change. As it was developed during COP21 it also reflects on the Paris Agreement in the context of local government.
  • Case Studies for Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Mangaung were also developed as part of the cities climate change resilience analysis.
  • A Guideline on How to Conduct GHG Baseline Reports 2014. The guidelines provides municipalities with a generic approach for conducting carbon footprints in order to determine their baseline for effective mitigation measures.
  • Cities Resilience to Climate Change. This report provides a synopsis of cities climate change resilience relating to food security, transportation and water provision, through three case studies: the City of Johannesburg, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM). The study links climate change issues at a municipal level to the daily operations of the cities with regards to service delivery and achieving the goals set out in these cities’ planning documents. A longer, synthesis report is also available.