Mitigation

Cape Town: Detailed Reporting Shapes Green Policy

In order to take comprehensive climate change action in the future, Cape Town, South Africa, realized that it must understand where its energy use and emissions stands today. The city developed a yearly State of Energy Report that provides data and analysis on which the city can model alternative energy plans. For instance, Cape Town officials learned from the report that the transport sector is responsible for 64% of the city’s energy consumption, followed by commerce at 13%, the residential sector at 12%, and industry and municipal consumption at 8% and 1%, respectively.

15% reduction in per capita CO2 emissions between 2007 and 2012

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The city’s most recent State of Energy Report data was the foundation for the development of the Cape Town Energy 2040 vision, which serves as a strategic tool for future decision-making and action planning. The Energy 2040 vision and action plan contributes to Cape Town’s overall climate change goals by increasing the city’s resource efficiency; achieving greater energy security, diversity, and price stabilization; and reducing carbon emissions.

2015_CarbonM+P_CapeTown2The knowledge amassed in the Energy Report allows Cape Town to plan for important energy use changes, such as a shift from private and informal transport toward public transit and cycling.

The challenge

Cape Town faces numerous threats from climate change, including flooding, rising sea levels, and water shortages. In order to better prepare for such conditions, and to develop a plan to efficiently and effectively reduce energy use, the city has employed comprehensive reporting and detailing planning based on the reports’ findings.

Co-benefits

Economic The State of Energy Report enables the city to understand the cost-benefit of renewable energy upgrades. For instance, between 2010 and 2014 upgrading all street lights to LEDs cost $2.1 million in investment, but has already yielded savings of $4 million.

Health Understanding how households are heated enables the city to promote the use of electricity and reduce the use of paraffin, particularly in low-income households. Inefficient paraffin heaters cause indoor air pollution and condensation, leading to damp and polluted conditions and poor respiratory health.

Social Data provided in the State of Energy Report indicates that 35% of Cape Town commuters spend 30 minutes to an hour traveling to work, and black residents bear the greatest burden in terms of travel time.

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