Nine African cities last week pledged to become zero-carbon economies by 2050.
Accra in Ghana, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Lagos in Nigeria, Dakar in Senegal, and Durban, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa will take actions to reduce emissions from areas including transportation, energy production and waste management.
These sectors are also the main emitters of air pollutants responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses and account for 7 million deaths each year.
Some cities have already started taking action.
Tshwane (formerly Pretoria) measures emissions and takes action accordingly, as detailed in a case study by C40 Cities, setting up a Sustainability Department within the Mayor’s office in 2013.
Africa is often held up as a poster child for climate vulnerability, but these nine cities intend to change that.
“We cannot ignore the implications of what will befall us if we do not act now,” said Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the mayor of Accra, at a planning meeting in Nigeria on urban climate action in Africa, according to Reuters.