George gets serious about cutting carbon emissionsThe municipality of George has taken up the challenge presented to them by conservation organization WWF South Africa and international NGO ICLEI by entering the 2015-16 Earth Hour City Challenge.
The Earth Hour City Challenge is a year-long competition among cities and towns around the world to promote renewable energy and prepare for climate change. Cities and towns that participate by competing for the title of South African national Earth Hour Capital - as well as the Global Earth Hour Capital – are recognised for their efforts in spreading the global movement to create more sustainable, resilient cities.
Now in its third year, WWF South Africa and ICLEI Africa are pleased that the 2015-2016 competition include a national round catering to the potential that secondary municipalities present in the journey towards a low-carbon future.
As an entrant to this year’s competition, staff of George Municipality attended a cross-departmental capacity building workshop on Friday (30 October 2015) to facilitate the development of a common vision for a lower-carbon, more resource efficient city development. Through the workshop, departments including those dealing with electricity, transport, waste, city planning, civil engineering, water and finance were brought together to share current initiatives and actions which could contribute to these aims.
"As a municipality, we are trying our best to reduce our carbon footprint by implementing actions such as our Go George public transport system and installing energy efficient lights in our streets and buildings. We also try to partner with the private sector to explore renewable energy opportunities," says Kevin Grunewald, Director: Electrotechnical Services at the Municipality of George.
“The entries to the EHCC will be evaluated by an international consultancy outside of the formal global competition, but will also provide feedback to municipalities in moving forward. A panel of national partners will use this evaluation to determine the national South African winner. In parallel and separately, participating metros will enter the formal global competition,” explains Steven Bland, Project Manager, ICLEI-Africa.
"The winning secondary municipality will also avail of a free pre-feasibility assessment of this nature from Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), empowering them to move towards a low-carbon future.”
“Additionally, participants will be able to access WWF and ICLEI materials on the impact of Renewable Energy on a sub-national level and the role of municipalities to unlock this potential.”