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Johannesburg announced as the national winner of WWF’s One Planet City Challenge

The City of Johannesburg has been selected as the national winner of WWF’s One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) 2022.

As a national winner, Johannesburg is now in the running to become one of OPCC’s two global winners.

OPCC is one of the largest and longest-running climate challenges for cities in the world. This year, 280 cities participated from over 50 countries, and there were 19 national winners. In South Africa, Ekurhuleni and Cape Town also reached the shortlist based on their reported climate data.

Since 2011, the OPCC has been highlighting leading examples of climate mitigation and adaptation from cities around the world.

This year’s jury commended Johannesburg on the leadership displayed in publishing a new climate action plan that is comprehensive and includes a zero-emission reduction target along with concrete actions to achieve it. In its citation, the jury said that the city’s strategy and mitigation targets have a high ambition for the energy, building and transport sectors. There is also a robust assessment of the city’s climate risk. The jury was further impressed with the inclusive process Johannesburg used.

The OPCC initiative encourages cities to develop ambitious climate targets and commitments in line with the targets of the Paris Agreement. This year showed that even more cities are participating and are aligning their targets with limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.  In fact, the aggregated emissions reductions from OPCC cities’ planned mitigation actions amounts to 246 million tons of CO2e or about the equivalent of the annual emissions of Spain.

Johannesburg, along with other shortlisted cities, was assessed by a jury of experts from a diverse range of organizations – from C40, to the African Development Bank to ICLEI amongst others, chaired by Seth Schultz, CEO at Resilience Rising.

Entrants were measured against rigorous criteria that included: ambitious climate targets, bold leadership, ability to meet upcoming challenges, and a holistic climate action plan that is well balanced towards their goals.

Johannesburg has proven itself to be one of South Africa’s most ambitious OPCC cities in committing to urban climate action. OPCC shortlisted cities serve as role models for educating and inspiring other cities to commit to and undertake meaningful and ambitious climate action.

Innocentia Modau, Project Manager: Urban Futures Programme with WWF South Africa, commented: “WWF would like to congratulate the City of Johannesburg on being a worthy national winner. The climate actions and strategies of South African cities are on par with the rest of the world and Johannesburg was up against some stiff competition for the top national slot. We now keenly await the announcement of the international winners.”
Johannesburg was commended for its leadership in publishing a comprehensive new climate action plan that includes a zero emission reduction target along with concrete actions to achieve it.

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