Development of the Durban Climate Action Plan:

From the recent storms in Durban, it is evident that business as usual is no longer an option; there is an urgency to do things differently in order to transform our city. To address the need for rapid transformation, the eThekwini Municipality, with support from C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, has developed a Climate Action Plan (CAP) that builds on the 2015 Durban Climate Change Strategy. The goal of the plan is to ramp up ambition and action that is required to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C, and thereby limit impacts facing our more vulnerable communities. The CAP comprises of 33 actions and 149 sub-actions aligned to nine thematic areas. These provide a pathway for Durban to achieve climate resilience and carbon neutrality by 2050.

Project to date
The CAP was adopted by Council in 2019. It is an ambitious plan that focusses on local need for action and due response from the city. Durban has set out to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions from a 2015 baseline by 2030, and an 80% reduction by 2050, and is committed to identifying various opportunities to achieve carbon neutrality. To deliver, the city will implement a smart electricity grid that enables bidirectional power flow and includes large scale renewable energy resources from national and locally produced Small Scale Embedded Generation systems, like rooftop solar panels. It will also ensure that 70% of private electricity demand is supplied by self-generated renewable energy by 2050. In addition, eThekwini Municipality’s transport systems are in line to be transformed with the target of 50% of citizens using public transport by 2030.

The city is also planning to expand its network of electric buses and aims to reduce private car trips by 50% by 2050. Climate change is projected to affect access to food and exacerbate food insecurity in the city, particularly for the 20% of households living on or below the poverty line. To tackle this, by 2030 eThekwini plans to achieve a 50% increase in locally produced food and reduce the volume of good quality leftover food waste by 80%.

EThekwini Municipality realises that these ambitious goals cannot be accomplished alone and has called on the support from national and provincial government, the private sector, civil society and the City’s citizens to enable it to meet the ambition set out in the plan. The City plans to broadly share its story of developing the CAP, through the compiled Learning Journey: Durban Climate Action Plan
. This document, done in partnership with the Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE), highlights some of the lessons learned, and challenges encountered by the Climate Team in city level climate action planning.The CAP will form the cornerstone of the Integrated Implementation Plan for the Durban Climate Change Strategy, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the 2020/21 financial year.​​​​