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African City Leaders Unite in Tshwane to Build Political Support for Climate Action

On Wednesday, November 15, 2023 , the city of Tshwane and C40 welcome representatives from twelve African cities for two days of discussions about ways to address the climate crisis while boosting development.

The event gathers representatives from C40 cities across Africa to discuss climate action in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania
C40’s Political Leadership Masterclass on Climate Change Governance will help city leaders in the region to exchange knowledge and collaborate on inclusive climate action-centred approaches

The two-day Political Leadership Masterclass on Climate Change Governance brings together high-level political and governance actors as part of the Climate Action Implementation Programme, which helps cities to become carbon-neutral by 2050 and secure a greener future for their residents.

Notable figures’ contributions include Mr. Johann Mettler, City Manager of the City of Tshwane, who will offer insights into Tshwane’s sustainability journey. In addition, H.E. André Nzapayeke, Dean of African Heads of Diplomatic Missions, and H.E. Antony Phillipson, British High Commissioner to South Africa, will be addressing the power of diplomacy and the UK’s efforts in supporting African climate action.

The agenda includes sessions featuring Mr. Jay Naidoo, former South African Minister and Social and Economic Development Advocate, Ms. Jennifer Musisi, C40 Board Member, Director of Earthlife Africa Makoma Lekalakala, and Prof. Debra Roberts, IPCC Co-Chair, discussing governance in the context of inclusive climate action and weaving the aspirations of residents into the fabric of resilient, prosperous cities across the African continent.

The opening ceremony, held at the prestigious Tshwane House Council Chambers, featured a performance by Tshwane Metro PD Choir and remarks by Tshwane City leaders, setting the tone for a high-level dialogue among representatives and delegates from twelve African cities: Accra, Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, Sedibeng, Tshwane and West Rand.

Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink said: “This event is important to the City of Tshwane and will help strengthen our very own Climate Action Plan, which seeks to ensure that we become a climate-resilient and responsive city. Furthermore, the city is committed to promoting green economies and job creation and to fostering sustainable development.”

Hastings Chikoko, C40’s Managing Director of Regions and Mayoral Engagement, and Regional Director for Africa, said: “The C40’s Political Leadership Masterclass on Climate Change Governance marks a critical step in our shared commitment to climate action, serving as a platform for deepening collaboration and empowering political leaders to drive inclusive governance approaches that align with their developmental priorities.”

C40’s Climate Action Implementation Programme is made possible with funding from the UK government’s Urban Climate Action Programme and has been supporting seven African cities in developing high-impact implementation actions to deliver renewable energy, green buildings, sustainable waste management and climate mainstreaming to help these cities halve their carbon emissions by 2030, become carbon neutral by 2050 and secure a green, fair and equitable future for their residents.

Antony Phillipson, British High Commissioner to South Africa, said: “The Political Leadership Masterclass in Tshwane reflects a pivotal moment where African political leaders converge to align climate efforts with broader developmental goals. This collaboration, bolstered by UK funding, underscores our commitment to assisting seven African cities in implementing impactful actions for a greener, more sustainable future. It’s a testament to the transformative power of international partnerships in addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change.”

Earlier this year, C40 hosted a regional conference in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, to highlight the vital role of African cities in tackling climate change. The event focused on discussions to facilitate partnerships and exchange best practices, enabling the participant cities to overcome common challenges and accelerate their climate action efforts.

 Climate Action Implementation (CAI) Programme:

The Climate Action Implementation (CAI) Programme is part of the overarching Urban Climate Action Programme (UCAP) funded by the UK government and delivered in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. The CAI Programme is working in collaboration with 15 cities in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia to deliver at least two priority high impact actions from their climate action plans (CAPs) and embed climate action plans into city governance, planning and decision-making structures, supporting continued monitoring and progressing of climate actions through tailored technical assistance and capacity building. From 2022 to 2025, the CAI Programme will support these cities in their paths to half carbon emissions by 2030, become carbon neutral by 2050 and secure a green, fair and equitable future for nearly 104 million residents.

Part of the UCAP funding supports the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF). The CFF facilitates access to finance for C40 cities’ climate change mitigation and resilience projects in urban areas. The CFF is jointly implemented by C40 and the German Development Agency (GIZ).

C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

C40 is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities working to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone, everywhere, can thrive. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. We work alongside a broad coalition of representatives from labour, business, the youth climate movement and civil society to support mayors to halve emissions by 2030 and help phase out fossil use while increasing urban climate resilience and equity.

The current co-chairs of C40 are Mayor Sadiq Khan of London, United Kingdom, and Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, Sierra Leone; three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Realdania.