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Greening And Environment

Leading Africa’s Green Economy Transformation and Attracting Sustainable Investments

Recent years have borne witness to an alarming surge in climate-related catastrophes, ranging from devastating floods, droughts, and unprecedented heatwaves to intensifying storms. These events have thrust the City of Cape Town at a pivotal juncture, compelling it to reassess its strategies for promoting investments and trade. In the face of climate change, adaptation and resilience are no longer mere options but pressing necessities. 

A City Committed to Sustainability

In an age where environmental sustainability takes centre stage, the City of Cape Town emerges as a resolute and eco-conscious region, firmly solidifying its position as Africa’s premier green economy hub. With an unwavering dedication to resilience and a flourishing landscape for green investments, Cape Town is positioning itself as a formidable global destination for environmentally conscious businesses.


Sustainability Embedded in Every Facet

As the impacts of climate change intensify, countries and cities must adapt with urgency. This adaptation transcends the mere safeguarding of infrastructure; it necessitates a comprehensive transformation of our investment and trade strategies. It beckons a paradigm shift that acknowledges the critical importance of climate resilience in every facet of our economic planning.


Sustainability at the Heart of Cape Town

At the core of Cape Town’s green metamorphosis lies an unwavering commitment to sustainability, permeating every aspect of the City’s operations. This commitment extends from urban planning and infrastructure development to energy efficiency, waste management, and beyond.


Partnership with Greencape: Igniting Sustainable Growth

A pivotal catalyst propelling Cape Town’s ascent as a green economy hub is its strategic embrace of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). These collaborations kindle innovation, attract investments, and position the city at the forefront of sustainability endeavours.


At the centre of Cape Town’s green journey lies its partnership with GreenCape, a strategic entity dedicated to propelling the green economy forward. Through GreenCape, Cape Town has harnessed substantial investments, provided crucial support to businesses offering waste management solutions, and generated invaluable market intelligence reports, industry briefs, and case studies that empower green economy businesses and potential investors with informed decision-making tools.


A Flourishing Green Economy

Cape Town’s green economy initiatives span a diverse spectrum of sectors, encompassing circular economy practices, green water technologies, emerging agro-industries, electric vehicles, and energy security. These initiatives not only fortify the city’s environmental credentials but also present significant economic opportunities. By fostering direct and indirect support to green economy industries, Cape Town catalyses the inflow of green investments while existing businesses embrace sustainable practices.


A Global Champion for Green Investments

To amplify awareness of Cape Town’s dedication to green investments and the broader sustainability agenda on the global stage, the City actively engages in international platforms and initiatives. Through initiatives supported by my Directorate, the CEO of Greencape was appointed as the chairperson of the International CleanTech Network (ICN), representing over 16,000 businesses across four continents.


Cape Town is poised as South Africa’s hub for black soldier fly (BSF) farming and an emerging centre for battery manufacturing. BSF farming is gaining global recognition as an organic waste management solution, transforming waste into animal feed and fertilizer. Investments in battery manufacturing promise to contribute to energy storage solutions, enhancing energy security.


The Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ) stands as a pivotal cornerstone in advancing the green economy agenda for the City. With its strategic location and focus on green technologies and industries, the Atlantis SEZ serves as a catalyst for attracting green investments that not only drive economic growth but also propel Cape Town to the forefront of sustainable innovation. By fostering a nurturing environment for businesses engaged in renewable energy, clean technologies, and eco-conscious manufacturing, the Atlantis SEZ reinforces the city’s commitment to sustainability, job creation, and environmental stewardship. It plays a vital role in expanding the green economy’s footprint in Cape Town, further solidifying the city’s reputation as a global leader in green investments and sustainable development.


Immediate Relevance to Exports: European Union-Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (EU-CBAM)

The EU’s-CBAM represents a significant development in global trade with far-reaching implications for Cape Town’s exports. This mechanism aims to level the playing field by imposing carbon-related tariffs on goods imported into the EU, based on their carbon footprint. For Cape Town’s exports, particularly those tied to industries with high carbon emissions, such as manufacturing or heavy industries, CBAM could introduce new trade challenges. Exporters will need to adapt to the EU’s emission standards and possibly face increased costs, affecting the competitiveness of their products in the European market. However, it also presents an opportunity for Cape Town to invest in greener technologies and practices, enhancing the sustainability of its exports and ensuring continued access to the EU market, which places a premium on environmentally responsible goods and services. The EU bloc will start collecting CO2 emission charges through CBAM only in 2026, which gives countries, cities, and industries little time to adhere to adopting green production practices and technologies. CBAM implementation started on 1 October 2023, which requires EU importers to report the greenhouse gas emissions embedded during the production of imported volumes of iron and steel, aluminium, cement, electricity, fertilisers and hydrogen.


Charting a Sustainable Course

As Cape Town continues its unwavering commitment to sustainability and resilience, it strides confidently towards becoming a global benchmark for green cities. With a burgeoning green economy, active engagement in international sustainability endeavours, and an unswerving dedication to environmentally responsible practices, Cape Town leads the way as Africa’s green economy hub and a premier destination for green investments.


In an era where the world clamours for eco-conscious solutions to combat climate change and champion sustainable development, Cape Town stands tall as a beacon of adaptability and proactivity, actively shaping a brighter, greener future for all.


A Call for Collective Action

As we confront the stark reality of climate change, we extend an invitation to all stakeholders – governments, businesses, investors, and citizens – to unite and create a city that exemplifies resilience and prosperity. Together, we have the power to transform Cape Town into a fortress of climate resilience and a magnet for sustainable investments and trade.


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