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12 April 2024

Three South African cities compete for climate title

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Three South African cities are in the running for WWF’s One Planet City Challenge national title.

Three South African cities are vying for the prestigious title of WWF’s One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) national winner, showcasing the strong leadership being portrayed by South African cities in the fight against climate change. Since its inception in 2011, the OPCC initiative has encouraged cities worldwide to set ambitious climate targets aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.

The City of Tshwane, City of Cape Town and eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality have emerged as finalists for the national title, showcasing their commitment to combating climate change and transitioning towards a low-carbon trajectory. Building on the legacy of previous winners, such as the City of Johannesburg in 2022, these cities stand at the forefront of climate action in South Africa.

Working together, WWF South Africa and ICLEI Africa, have garnered participation from over 30 cities in Africa which form part of the over 700 cities across nearly 70 countries in the OPCC, making it one of the world’s largest and most enduring climate challenges for cities. Participating cities submit their climate action plans or projects through the CDP-ICLEI Track, an accessible reporting platform for cities globally.

As finalists, Tshwane, Cape Town, and eThekwini are now in the running for the national title. The national winner will go on to compete with cities around the world. All three cities will undergo rigorous assessment by a panel of experts, evaluating criteria such as ambitious climate targets, bold leadership and comprehensive climate action plans.


Innocentia Modau, Climate Action project manager with WWF South Africa, commented: “We are proud of our three finalist cities to have put their hands up for this competition. Tshwane, Cape Town and eThekwini now have the chance to drive the climate agenda forward, both in South Africa and the world. WWF is calling on all cities to actively reduce their emissions and build more resilient communities in our efforts to address the climate emergency. As scientists keep reminding us, every effort helps but there is still so much more that needs to be done.”


Dr Meggan Spires, Director: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience at ICLEI Africa said: “We continue to prioritise our strategic partnership with WWF to promote the One Planet City Challenge, which not only acknowledges the climate change leadership being shown by African cities, but also supports these cities on their climate change journeys. Every year we are blown away by the innovation and excellence of our African cities, who are taking bold steps to address climate change on a daily basis. ICLEI is committed to supporting all cities that are committed to increasing resilience and building sustainability, and we especially want to congratulate the City of Tshwane, City of Cape Town and eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality on this milestone.”

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