aresebetseng banner


web-strip-110-x-600 2


Tariffbanner 2017

IDP Banner



itl click thru




emergency blue

011 375 5911; 10177

general blue

PAIA, 2000 (Act 2 of 2000) 

home > archive
other city news
Jozi punts smart buildings policy
01 July 2009

Joburg: represented on the international stage at the ICLEI World Congress

Johannesburg has been represented at two major international summits on climate change and the environment this year - the Seoul C40 Summit and the ICLEI World Congress.

JOBURG'S Smart Buildings initiative has got international exposure, at the Seoul C40 Summit, where City representatives participated in a panel discussion with a presentation entitled Smart Buildings: how Johannesburg is implementing energy efficiency in buildings.

Joburg is the only South African city in the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
Joburg is the only South African city in the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group

Jozi is the only South African city that is a member of the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group , working in close partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI).

The C40 is a group of the world's largest cities already taking action on climate change. It held its regular summit, from 18 to 21 May, to share best practices, build networks, identify collaborative projects and chart future actions to help tackle climate change.

The theme this year was Cities' achievements and challenges in the fight against climate change. Prema Naidoo represented Johannesburg, as the then member of the mayoral committee for environment. He was accompanied by Richard Holden, a strategic support specialist in the City's department of planning and urban management.

Holden said Joburg's presentation explained how it was implementing energy efficiency in buildings and promoting sustainable urban design policy.

Development programme
Bill Clinton, the former US president who heads the CCI, at the summit announced a new project, the Climate Positive Development Programme, which involves some 12 large developers around the world; two are from South Africa - Old Mutual and Menlynmaine.

Over the four days, representatives and councillors from the 40 cities explored issues such as climate change and the economic crisis, low-carbon cities, sustainable city developments, and increasing green energy use.

Speaking before the summit, Thabo Mahlatsi, Joburg's director of the energy sector infrastructure and services, said: "The turbulence that characterised the current millennium, manifesting itself through rapid development of technologies, when used creatively and innovatively can alleviate natural and manmade disasters that are currently being experienced in various forms, namely climate change, depletion of natural resources leading to poverty and other ills."

This could be "easily managed and curbed if a concerted effort and partnerships are established between the City and other willing partners".

Working with partners like the CCI, public-private partnerships and local expertise, the City could achieve more to contribute to its citizens and the country as a whole.

Johannesburg is the only South African city that has a close partnership with the CCI. The CCI provides technical assistance to tackle environmental problems, working with various companies to implement policies and develop measures on how to take care of the environment.

Naidoo said Johannesburg welcomed the opportunity to promote a new and more sustainable building development paradigm in South Africa. It was looking forward to working with Old Mutual and in expanding its existing partnership with the CCI.

"The Climate Positive Development Programme is an innovative and integrated way to achieve the City's new policy on energy efficiency and resource sustainability in urban development at a faster and larger scale than would have been possible," he said.

Speaking about the summit, Holden said Clinton delivered the keynote address. He challenged delegates by asking them what they were going to do and how much they were going to spend on tackling the climate change.

"He pointed out that out of the 155 countries called upon to reduce greenhouse gases in terms of the Kyoto Protocol, 145 would not reach their targets because they couldn't figure out how to do it, politically and economically."

Attendees included mayors, deputy mayors and senior officials of the C40 large and affiliate cities, as well as climate change experts and business leaders. Participating cities include among others, Addis Ababa, Athens, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Caracas, Chicago, Delhi, Dhaka, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Houston, Istanbul, Jakarta, and Johannesburg.

The key focus was on safe, clean and green cities. According to the C40 experts, cities have a central role to play in tackling climate change as they are causing it. Cities consume 75 percent of the world's energy and produce 80 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions. It was very important they worked to together.

The C40 holds conferences in member cities each year, to review the progress of climate change-related programmes and to share best practices on the topic. Joburg attended its summit in New York in 2007 and in Tokyo in 2008.

World congress
It was not the only international environmental summit in which the City has participated recently. Joburg officials were also at the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) World Congress in Edmonton, in Canada, from 12 to 18 June.

This conference, with the theme Connecting leaders, also focused on building safe, clean and green cities. Johannesburg has been a member of the ICLEI since the late 1990s, and it hosted the Africa Secretariat from 1999 to 2006.

City Parks' Sydney Nkosi represented Johannesburg in Canada
City Parks' Sydney Nkosi represented Johannesburg in Canada

Sydney Nkosi, a general manager from City Parks, was Joburg's representative in Canada. He said the focus of the congress was on the fundamental transformation of cities to be more carbon neutral, moving to eco-mobility, building zero-emission houses, adaptation and resilience to climate change, and livable, with a green urban economy.

Jozi had its own unique local success stories to share: under the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ it had influenced programmes and projects that would contribute positively its green infrastructure legacy. It had also recently completed its Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans, Wetland Audit Report, Kilprivier-Klipsruit Rehabilitation and Greening, and Open Space Management Framework.

Nkosi said the City learned at the conference that population growth, urbanisation, climate change, global warming and loss of biodiversity required urgent and radical solutions.

It would have to focus on, among other concerns, municipal sustainability management, sustainable procurement, climate adaptation and resilient city, cities for climate protection, water resources and pollution and waste management.

In keeping with the initiative, Nkosi stayed at the University of Alberta while in Canada, which uses energy efficient lights and solar geysers.

He said the strategic outcomes of the congress included radical change and leadership; increasing marginalised communities' access to potable water, clean energy and sanitation; and strengthening biodiversity protection.

The atmosphere of the congress was that of "think globally but act locally".

The ICLEI brings together local governments and was formed after the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. It is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme and it provides a mouthpiece for local government within the UN.

Related stories:

Bookmark and Share
Last Updated on 20 July 2009