Local Government Programme on Climate change

SALGA and SACN have partnered to implement a programme on climate change. The programme on climate change has selected seven technologies that municipalities will focus on in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Such technologies are: 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).

Five themes

  • Programmatising and (business) planning: municipal business plans and feasibility studies; climate change response programmes and projects.
  • Knowledge sharing and dissemination: dissemination of municipal best practices (through seminars, workshops, etc.); development of (planning) tools, guides and manuals.
  • Partnerships (internationally, regionally & locally): International Local Government Convention, Local Government Pavilion at COP17-CMP7, etc. 
  • Communication and mobilisation: mobilisation of community, including industrial and commercial users; education and awareness.
  • Policy environment and regulatory framework: review of policy & legislation to enable climate change action at local level.

COP21/CMP11 (December 2015)

South African local government took part in various forums and activities in the lead-up to and during COP21/CMP11 in December 2015.

  • A local government delegation comprising political representatives and officials of 11 metropolitan, district and local municipalities across South Africa as well as supporting organisations in the form of SALGA, SACN and ICLEI-Africa attended the conference in Paris. It was a highly productive and invaluable experience to participate in a variety of platforms dedicated to the role of local government in a meaningful climate change response.
  • The South African local government delegation had representation in the so-called Blue Zone: the hub of the negotiations under the ambit of the United Nations. Complementary to the Blue Zone was the Green Zone, which comprised the Climate Generations Zone and the Innovation Gallery. Of direct significance to local government was the Cities and Regions Pavilion hosted by ICLEI and supported by numerous partners. It was within this space that the South African local government representatives, both politicians and officials, took to the podium and addressed audiences and peers on their Transformative Actions Programme (TAP). The City of Tshwane shared lessons on its implementation of the Tshwane Food and Energy Centre, an initiative to address the triple challenge of food security, energy security and unemployment. The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality demonstrated social upliftment through its community-driven urban agriculture project, which will transform the use of water through infrastructure redesign. The City of Johannesburg reaffirmed its commitment to eco-mobility as well as lobbying for city-scale climate action finance. Through broader engagement, the City of Cape Town contributed input during Buildings Day as well as a session on sustainable public procurement; and eThekwini shared its experiences on integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation with urban development.
  • The highlight of COP21 for the delegation was the Local Leaders Summit and the C40 Cities Awards. The inputs made during the Summit, which was held at the Paris City Hall, saw a Declaration that was later fed into the formal negotiations of the conference. The C40 Cities Awards provided an opportunity for global recognition and accolades from the international community for the efforts of non-state actors in addressing climate change. The awards went to Cape Town and Johannesburg with respect to water conservation and demand management, and the initiation of green bonds respectively.
  • The COP21 outcome, dubbed the Paris Agreement, as well as conclusions of other activities in the lead up to and during COP21 contributed to the realisation of a workable scope of action for local government. The key points of the Agreement are summarised as follows:

                          i. Advanced global negotiations - an inclusive and ambitious Paris 2015 outcome
                         ii. Enhanced vertical integration - effective multi-level governance
                        iii. Accelerate local and sub-nation climate action – strengthened partnerships

  • A critical action that emerged is a need for a communication effort to ensure that local government in South Africa understands the outcomes of COP21, the NDCs and associated responsibilities. The Local Government Programme for Climate Change (LGP4CC) under the leadership of the City of Tshwane Executive Mayor Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa has embraced this role to communicate the Paris Agreement outcomes and its implications for South African local government.

COP17/CMP7 (December 2011)

The local government sector used this programme to mobilise its participation at the COP17/CMP7 held in December 2011. Key events hosted for the sector under the Local Government Programme for COP17 were:

  • South African Mayors Conference on Climate Change (9–11 October 2011), co-hosted by the Chairperson of SALGA and the Minster of Water and Environmental Affairs. Download: Conference report
  • The Local Government Expo at the COP17. This was an exhibition within the South African Climate Change Response Expo, primarily focusing on the best practice of the South African municipalities in dealing with climate change adaptation and mitigation. A total of 18 exhibitors graced this exhibition with their projects, plans, strategies and products for future sustainable cities. Exhibitors included 11 municipalities, Department of Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs, SALGA, SACN, Siemens and CNN. This was a 12-day exhibition which was complimented with a 12-day programme of events ranging from launching the Local Government Convention outcomes; SALGA & SACN’s information sharing events; Siemens press conference to launch its ‘green city’s index project; to the World Economic Forum discussions on climate change.
  • The Local Government Convention on Climate Change (2–4 December 2011). The opening plenary of the Convention had a keynote address from the President, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma. An overwhelming interest and support from other South African Government representatives, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation & COP17 President; Minister of Water & Environmental Affairs; Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs; Minister of Science & Technology; Minister of Energy gave the Convention the highest standard as an international event. The 3rd day of the program witnessed the signing of the Durban Climate Change Adaptation Charter by 114 mayors and other elected local leaders from 28 countries, representing 950 local governments. The Charter was stamped by the UNFCCC for inclusion in the COP17 media publications (the Earth Bulletin & Eco Publication) and it was formally presented to the joint high level segment of COP17/CMP7 and the COP17 President on the 9th December 2011. Download: Durban Adaptation Charter