Ahead of COP27 being held in Africa later this year, the mayors and governors of ten major African cities announced an unprecedented, ambitious commitment to improve air quality with the signing of the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration.
See the list of ten cities and their commitments below.
By signing the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration, the mayors of these cities recognise that breathing clean air is a human right and commit to working toward safer air quality that meets World Health Organisation Air Quality Guidelines.
Air pollution has become the second-largest cause of death on the African continent, due in part to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. Approximately 1.1 million deaths per year have been linked to air pollution across Africa, according to a Global Burden of Disease study.
Enlit Africa (the unifying brand for African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa) invites you to join the conversation 7-9 June 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Approximately 59 million people across the ten African cities stand to benefit from cleaner air and improved health through commitments that could prevent as many as 10,000 early deaths linked to air pollution exposure, as well as more than 300,000 hospitalisations, resulting in $9.4 billion in annual savings from averted deaths and hospitalisations.
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The new signatories of the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration will take careful steps to
improve air quality, from establishing baseline air pollution levels to setting new air
quality targets and implementing policies and programmes that address the
leading causes of air pollution emissions.
The ten cities and their clean air commitments
- Abidjan will expand air quality monitoring capabilities and aims to achieve a 50% reduction in air pollutant emissions by 2035. The city will consider traffic restrictions for certain types of vehicles.
- Accra will introduce policies to reduce air pollution from the waste sector by 2026 and collaborate with the transport department to implement an e-mobility strategic policy focusing on high-impact actions to reduce transport emissions.
- Addis Ababa will establish city-wide baseline air quality levels and aims to reduce major sources of air pollution by 2025 by implementing emissions standards for vehicles; e.g. passenger vehicles, buses and trucks.
- Dakar plans to introduce an electric bus rapid transit (BRT) and Regional Express Trains (TER – Trains Express Regional) system, create 18 kilometres of new bike lanes and close dumpsites by 2024.
- Ekurhuleni is in the process of introducing the Harambee Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System, which includes 286km of dedicated roads within the city. This programme will be rolled out until the end of 2025. In addition, the city will rehabilitate 112 (1 per ward) illegal waste dumping sites and any abandoned waste by 2023.
- Freetown will develop a mass transit cable car network which will reduce peak traffic volumes and congestion by up to 30%, support residents to transition to gas- and electricity-powered clean and affordable cooking solutions, and create low emission zones.
- Johannesburg will expand household electrification by providing 3,000 sites with electricity connections, establishing a diesel vehicle emissions testing programme and ensuring mines implement a dust management programme by 2025.
- Lagos will reduce traffic congestion by expanding the bus rapid transit network, piloting a low-emission bus system, improving walking and cycling infrastructure, rehabilitating three illegal waste dumping sites and promoting the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on buildings.
- Nairobi will introduce air quality regulations and an air quality act to set up ambitious reduction targets, increase installation of air quality sensors, develop an emissions inventory to establish baseline levels of air pollutants, report publicly on the status of air pollution and increase pedestrian and cycling lanes by 100 km to encourage non-motorised transport.
- Tshwane will work collaboratively to improve waste collection and waste recycling from informal settlements, expand electrification to ensure access for all homes (including 80% of existing informal settlements) by 2030 and establish a vehicle emissions testing programme.
- Durban has already made progress on its commitments over the past three years. The city has procured new reference monitors, reviewed and aligned its air quality by-laws, and begun the development of a city-wide emissions inventory of air pollutants, aligned with a greenhouse gas inventory. Durban has also carried out an equity assessment to inform the design of their low emission zone and plans to further develop the concept in the coming year.
Find out more about the C40 Cities clean air declaration.
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