SA cities strive for zero-carbon building

May 3rd, 2018, Published in Articles: PositionIT, Featured: PositionIT

Mayors of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to introduce requirements ensuring all new buildings are energy efficient, cutting electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

C40 Cities South Africa Buildings Programme, launched today in Tshwane, aspires to make zero carbon buildings standard practice across South African cities

High-efficiency energy performance requirements are being developed for all new buildings in Tshwane, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, due to these cities’ collaboration in the C40 Cities South Africa Buildings Programme. The ambition of the programme, launched at an event in Tshwane in April 2018, is to make zero carbon buildings the standard practice across South African cities.

According to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the energy used to power, heat and operate buildings accounts for more than 25% of the GHG emissions produced by South African cities. Therefore, action to make buildings more energy efficient has great potential to reduce GHG emissions. Furthermore, with growing urban populations comes increased demand for housing, commercial buildings, office space, schools, hospitals and other buildings. Ensuring these new buildings meet high-efficiency energy performance requirements will be crucial if cities and South Africa as a whole will deliver on its commitments to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Representatives from ten cities across C40’s global network have gathered in Tshwane to exchange best practice on building energy efficiency. The cities outside South Africa include, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro.

Since 2007, more than 230 buildings have been certified to the Green Star South Africa sustainable building rating system, developed and managed by the Green Building Council South Africa. The C40 South Africa Buildings Programme will support cities to move sustainable, energy-efficient new building to scale to become the new standard practice.

C40, in partnership with Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA), will support the four cities through locally employed technical professionals. City officials will be able to share knowledge and collaborate with cities outside of South Africa, facilitated through C40’s global city networks. This exchange will bring best practices in energy efficient building policy and practices to the four cities as well sharing these with other cities in South Africa. The C40 South Africa Buildings Programme is funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and is part of the Building Energy 2020 Programme.

C40 Cities connects more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing 650+ million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.

Contact Josh Harris, C40 Cities, jharris@c40.org