Durban is now one of only two African Cities to be compliant with the ‘Compact of Mayors’. The Compact of Mayors is a group of cities from around the world, led by their respective mayors, who are committed to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing resilience to climate change while reporting progress on a public platform, the carbonn Climate Registry (cCR). Durban is proud to join other cities including Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Melbourne, New York, Oslo, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Washington DC and Cape Town in the Compact of Mayors, all of which have set ambitious targets for climate change mitigation and adaptation ahead of the COP 21, 2015 Paris Climate Conference.
The Compact of Mayors was established by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programmes. EThekwini Mayor, Councillor James Nxumalo pledged during the 2015 ICLEI World Congress held in Seoul, South Korea, Durban’s commitment to comply with the Mayors Compact. That goal has now been achieved although meeting compliance requirements of the compact was a lengthy process.
Some of the requirements included:
1. Demonstrating commitment for climate change mitigation by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, measure community emissions, set reduction targets and develop a climate action plan;
2. Adaptation which includes addressing impacts of climate change, identifying climate change hazards, assessing vulnerabilities and developing adaptation plans;
3. Setting up and annually updating an inventory of community-wide greenhouse gas emissions using the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission inventories as well identifying climate change vulnerabilities and climate hazards that need to be addressed through adaptation measures;
4. Setting targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and monitoring their achievement.
5. Developing a climate change response plan or strategy that addresses both mitigation and adaptation.