Cape Town announced as leading African city for climate action


The City of Cape Town has received an A-rating for climate action and transparency - the only African city awarded this status in 2023.

This is according to the 2023 Cities A-List published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a global non-profit that runs the world's environmental disclosure system for states, cities, and companies.

In 2023, only 13% of the over 930 cities that were scored received an A. The CDP scores cities from A to D based on their climate change response disclosure each year. The score indicates how effectively cities are managing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate risks.

This A-list rating affirms Cape Town's status as Africa's leading city for climate action. It is also an important signal to the international investor community, and finance institutions, who make investment decisions based on this level of climate action transparency.

Investor confidence is vital for delivering on our R120 billion ten-year infrastructure portfolio, which includes major climate action projects to build energy and water security.

Cape Town is at the forefront of the great energy transition from unreliable, costly and fossil fuel based energy, to reliable, cost-effective, carbon neutral energy. In the short-term, we plan to add up to 650MW to our grid, enough to protect against four Eskom load-shedding stages by 2026.

The City is also looking to add new alternative water sources totalling around 300 million litres (Ml) per day by 2030.

According to the CDP, A-List cities are taking four times as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List cities.

To score an A, a city must disclose its climate actions through CDP-ICLEI Track, have a city-wide emissions inventory, and a published climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment, and have a climate adaptation goal to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards.

The City is pleased that Cape Town has retained its A-list status every year since the new ratings system began in 2019. At a policy level, we have committed to achieving the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. This commitment is embedded in our Climate Change Strategy and related Action Plan, which set the pathway towards this goal.

How climate change is affecting Cape Town

• Decreasing rainfall and increased risk of drought

• Hotter temperatures leading to more frequent and intense heat waves and very hot days

• Rising sea levels and increased coastal erosion

• Increased risk of flooding due to intense rainfall events

• Hot, dry, and windy conditions leading to increased wildfire risk 

What is carbon neutrality? Carbon neutrality means introducing new technologies to clean up the fuels and activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, while enhancing our social, economic and environmental goals.