Coast KZN

14 Jun 2018

Durban wins WWF challenge

The Mercury Picture: The city of Durban (Picture: African News Agency- ANA)

The city has emerged victorious in the the WWF One Planet City Challenge for 2017/2018. Durban beat contenders, Tshwane and Cape Town to emerge as winners.

Although all three cities have strong initiatives, eThekwini demonstrated a strong vision and the capability to drive change along with a very strong alignment of reported climate change mitigation actions, including tackling those sectors responsible for the highest carbon emissions.

The most recent competition put extra emphasis on sustainable transport and mobility – a major environmental challenge for cities around the globe which is responsible for a quarter of all carbon emissions and for the largest share of carbon emissions in South African cities.

Urban Futures Programme Manager for WWF South Africa’s Policy and Futures Unit, Louise Scholtz, said they were delighted to announce eThekwini as the winner.

“All three finalists should be commended for their efforts. Cities are powerful change makers and have the ability to contribute towards South Africa meeting its carbon emissions commitments under the Paris Agreement,” she said.

Scholtz said finalists faced an international jury of urban sustainability experts that looked for cities that demonstrate inspiring, ambitious and credible climate agendas, examining how they contributed to meeting the Paris Agreement goals. The jury considered differences in resources and starting points to ensure a level playing field for evaluation.

Joining the coalition of cities committed to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy – as well as following up these commitments with action – is considered a positive attribute in the evaluation. Higher ambitions and the impact of corresponding action plans were also favoured. Given the thematic focus of sustainable transport, the jury paid special attention to cities that presented ambitious mobility plans and actions.


The cities were judged for their efforts to align with a transparent and science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction trajectory; having ambitious and strategic action plans to meet stated commitments, their integrated actions into coherent and overarching climate action plans, their ability to lead, with respect to local context and conditions and highlighting sustainable mobility efforts.