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Participants interactively discover the results of the municipal greenhouse gas inventory, staff awareness questionnaire and interviews with local stakeholders.

People of KwaDukuza vision a low emission future for their Municipality

Last week, workshop participants from KwaDukuza Municipality mapped out four possible low-emission development futures for the area.

Low-emission development involves making decisions now that can reduce local air pollution, energy use, and create jobs and investment opportunities into the long-term. The world is increasingly focused on the issue of carbon emissions arising from the burning of fossil fuels, and those local areas that act now will become the prosperous places of tomorrow.

Over 35 people from the Municipality, District and Provincial government, business, NGO’s and local community spent an intensive day and a half getting to grips with the key development, growth and energy challenges facing KwaDukuza. Four initial and possible futures were developed. One future involved everyone working hard to become low-carbon, but a lack of incentives and regulation letting them down and preventing widespread change. Another future saw a positive local mindset, backed up by regulations and incentives, delivering a low-carbon, job-rich future KwaDukuza by 2030.

Participants interactively discover the results of the municipal greenhouse gas inventory, staff awareness questionnaire and interviews with local stakeholders.The Deputy Mayor of KwaDukuza, Ms Dolly Govender, argued in her opening remarks that: “Climate change is a developmental problem and it is everyone’s business. We need to act now.” While another participant, Trenley Tilbrook, CEO of iLembe Chamber of Commerce, commented: “I would like to commend KDM for being progressive and proactive in taking the initiative to develop a low carbon emission development outlook. This can however only be implemented effectively in partnership with business. As the chamber, representing business in the area, we are looking forward to partnering with KDM in this regard.”

The scenario planning process, which will continue in early February, is convened as part of a partnership programme between the Municipality and the NGO ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – Africa. The Urban Low Emission Development (Urban-LEDS) project is working with KwaDukuza and six other municipalities in South Africa, to design and integrate measures to create jobs and improve the local environment through reduced carbon emissions.

The Urban-LEDS project directly builds on the recently developed Climate Change Response Strategy and progress so far has included the completion of KwaDukzua’s first ever Green House Gas and energy profile- results of which will be released publicly before the end of 2013. The scenario planning results will feed directly into the Integrated Development Plan going forward, with the Deputy Mayor adding: “We will make sure that the outcomes of this workshop will be mainstreamed into council and development planning”.

To find out more, watch out for the workshop report which will be shortly released, or contact: urban-leds-southafrica@iclei.org

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