Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille on a more ambitious climate change agenda

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing our planet.

At the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris in December, I was invited to participate in a number of events that dealt with the role cities can play in pushing national governments to commit to and achieve more ambitious climate change agendas.

I have come away from those deliberations more convinced than ever that cities have a pivotal role to play in both mitigating climate change and in adapting to the impacts of climate change.

It was inspiring to share a platform with other mayors, where the language we spoke was about implementation and doing, rather than just talking. What’s more, we had the opportunity to network with each other, sharing our best sustainable urban solutions and – as London Mayor Boris Johnson put it – stealing good ideas from each other.

In fact, this idea of city collaboration was a recurring theme throughout my time in Paris. C40 continues to play a key role in connecting the world’s finest and pioneering cities and providing invaluable opportunities to learn from one another.

I came away inspired by mayors like Karin Wanngård of Stockholm, whose city is utilising sewage to generate bio gas for their bus fleet. Similarly, in Cape Town, we are comprehensively looking at ways in which we can use all of our waste streams in the city far more effectively as a resource. While we have already initiated pilot projects to look at how we can use waste as an energy generation resource, Mayor Wanngård’s solution is a thoughtful one we may consider.

While we have come away from Paris with the sense that the world is finally taking climate change seriously, what still remains is a major emissions gap between national commitments and where we must be to limit global climate change —> Read More