‘Prioritizing climate change adaptation and local level resilience in Durban, South Africa’

Abstract:  This paper describes the institutional and resource challenges and opportunities in getting different sectors in eThekwini Municipality (the local government responsible for planning and managing the city of Durban) to recognize and respond to their role in climate change adaptation. The Headline Climate Change Adaptation Strategy launched by the municipality in 2006 did not catalyze the development of sectoral plans or significantly influence the Integrated Development Plan, the key document through which the municipal government sets and implements development priorities. Possible causal factors for this include limited human and financial resources and more immediate and urgent development needs. To address the situation, the municipality’s Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department encouraged and supported three pilot sectors to develop their own municipal adaptation plans. This more sectoral approach encouraged greater interaction among the sectors and provided each with a clearer understanding of their needs and roles from an adaptation perspective. It also highlighted how climate change adaptation could be used as a tool to address development priorities. This work will be extended through research into the cost-benefits of Durban being an “early adapter”. Work has also begun on community-based adaptation (including support for reforestation projects that provide “green jobs”) and on responses to slow onset disasters, food security and water constraints.

Full Citation: Roberts, D. (2010). Prioritizing climate change adaptation and local level resilience in Durban, South Africa, Environment and Urbanization, Vol. 22 (2): 397-413. (Available with subscription from: http://eau.sagepub.com/content/current)

New Report – ‘Investing in Clean Energy: How can developed countries best help developing countries finance climate-friendly energy investments?’

This Global Climate Network report encompasses findings from a two-stage study of climate change financing, focused on mitigation and specifically clean energy.

Stage one examines in detail the costs of installing clean energy capacity in four major developing countries, according to existing or anticipated government plans, and proposes a range of financial leveraging mechanisms to help ensure the required levels of investment are available.

Stage two includes findings from a series of national dialogues in GCN member countries with policymakers, affected firms, banks and finance professionals and other experts. Participants were asked for their views on real-world barriers to financing and to respond to the outcomes and proposals from stage one of the study.

Overall, the report points to the need for an investment partnership between the public and private sectors with three equally important key elements:
– Using developed country public funds strategically
– Ensuring stable long-term policy is in place in developing countries, and
– Addressing the incremental costs of clean energy technologies

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