At a meeting in Nigeria this week, nine African cities pledged to cut carbon emissions to zero within the next three decades.
The cities include major Africa capitals and urban centres, such as Accra, Cape Town, Lagos, and Johannesburg.
Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra, said his city’s citizens are “becoming more aware” of the impacts of climate change.
Despite all countries in Africa having signed the Paris climate agreement, progress has been slow in making the transition to a low-carbon economy. Much of the world’s future population growth is estimated to take place on the continent, making climate action an even greater priority.
“We cannot ignore the implications of what will befall us if we do not act now… Part of the actions we need, is the creation of a vision that embodies our passion to plan and implement initiatives that mitigate the negative effects or aids us to be able to adapt to the impacts,” he added.
The other cities making the commitment at the meeting were Durban, Tshwane, Dar es Salaam, Dakar, and Addis Ababa.
According to the non-profit C40, which organised the event, Nairobi and Abidjan have also signed up and will submit their action plans soon.
The organisation has agreed to support the cities on their low-carbon journey through the development of evidence-based climate plans which are in line with the goals of the Paris deal.
“Cities in Africa are of the fastest growing anywhere in the world,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris & Chair of C40. “The commitment of these nine mayors to bold climate leadership will deliver a sustainable future for these dynamic, and outward looking cities. It once again proves that cities are getting the job done and concretely delivering on the Paris Agreement to secure a bright future for all our citizens.”