Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Parks Tau called on international finance institutions to make it easier for municipalities to access development finance.
Mayor Tau was a panellist in a session entitled “Healthier, Wealthier Cities: Linking Growth, Prosperity and Livability” at the C40 Cities Mayors Summit currently underway at the Sandton Convention Centre.
He said Joburg had encountered stringent demands from institutions such as the World Bank when it issued its second bond. “The mechanism to access finance is difficult. They need to make access easier and their pricing more competitive for development initiatives.” Because of these onerous demands, Mayor Tau said, municipalities tend to stick to local markets.
Trevor Manuel, Minister in the Presidency said the C40 cities stand a better chance of success in tackling climate change than existing multilateral organisations such as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the G20. “The UNSC has been overtaken by time and circumstances.”
Minister Manuel said C40 cities stand a better chance at experiential and shared learning. He added that in addition to climate change, cities have other challenges to tackle. “Cities must get their residents fitter, respond to non-communicable diseases, look at urban spaces and change that, bring young people into decision making.”
In another session on “Measurement and Reporting,” Joburg City Manager Trevor Fowler said research conducted by the City had found that greenhouse gas emissions in the City came mostly from industrial, commercial, transport and residential activities. “Commerce and industry accounts for 38% of greenhouse gas emissions, private residences emit 28% and transport accounts for 26%.”
The implications of this is that the City must put more effort and resources into reducing emissions in these sectors, Fowler said.
But he added that emissions in Joburg were not as bad as they were in other countries. “Although Joburg has twice the number of households as London, our emissions are the same.”
Fowler said the City would put more effort into measuring emissions and improving its data quality. “We need coordination between private and public organisations. We need to plan this.”
Joburg takes a bow at C40