Cape Town scores highest of any African city on sustainability metrics

Cape Town has the highest sustainability score of any African city ranked in the Corporate Knights Sustainable Cities Index.

The Mother City placed 12e on an index of 50 cities around the world, judged on a list of 12 indicators developed by Corporate Knights. The Canadian media, research and financial information products company developed the indicator-based quantitative index to assess the sustainability of global cities. The Sustainable Cities Index: Environmental Performance and Global Cities report [see below] gives a breakdown of all the factors considered in the ranking.

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The index focuses on the environmental aspects of sustainability and will incorporate social dimensions in future versions. It is outcome-oriented and examines physical measures of air quality, drinking water access and consumption, waste generation, automobile dependence and road density, modes public and active transportation, open spaces, local and consumption-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. and resilience to the impacts of climate change. The 12e The indicator is policy-driven and covers cities’ commitments to renewable energy, reduced GHG emissions and clean transport.

The highest rated city in the 2022 Sustainable Cities Index ranking is Stockholm. The Swedish capital is followed by Oslo, Copenhagen, Lahti and London. Seven of the top 10 cities are in the UK and Europe, and Tokyo ranks seventh, making it the top city in Asia and Oceania.

Vancouver and Toronto ranked 8th and 9th, making Canadian cities the highest overall score among North American cities (Ottawa ranks 11th).

Context matters when it comes to sustainability

Arrives at 12 p.m.e, Cape Town is the highest rated African city; followed by Accra, Ghana at 15; Lagos, Nigeria at 40; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania at 43; and Johannesburg, SA at 47.

Taking part in the index’s virtual global launch last week, Cape Town Deputy Mayor Alderman Eddie Andrews took part in a panel of city leaders where he spoke about how cities are moving the next level durability.

“This note speaks volumes for Cape Town City’s tireless efforts to integrate its resilience and other sustainability strategies into the municipality’s departmental plans and practices,” Andrews said.

He said it is essential that cities develop context-specific and evidence-based sustainability policies and strategies and that environmental sustainability needs to address broader, high-level policy and frameworks of sustainability. city ​​to effect real change.

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The top ten cities in the index are:

  1. Stockholm, Sweden
  2. Oslo, Norway
  3. Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. Lahti, Finland
  5. London, UK
  6. Helsinki, Finland
  7. Tokyo, Japan
  8. Vancouver, Canada
  9. Toronto, Canada
  10. Berlin, Germany

Citizen income greatly influences a city’s ability to be sustainable

Sparsely populated cities generally scored higher than more populated cities on the index – some of the most populated cities such as Istanbul, Turkey and Shanghai, China are among the lowest ranked. However, London (8 million inhabitants) and Tokyo (13 million inhabitants) rank in the top 10, illustrating that megacities can achieve a high level of sustainability.

Cities in high-income countries are more likely to rank well on the index than those in middle-income countries. Yet there are high-income countries with a very low sustainability score, such as Houston or Chicago in the United States. And conversely, a middle-income city like Accra, Ghana, which scored higher than San Francisco, USA. This is due to the weight given to per capita GHG emissions and automobile dependence that disadvantage sprawling cities with a high level of energy consumption and use.

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The income disparity in sustainability performance is also evident through the climate change resilience indicator. Cities with low vulnerability and high readiness are found in high-income countries, and cities with high vulnerability and low readiness are found in middle-income countries.

“This trend reveals a key message: the effects of climate change are disproportionately impacting the world’s most vulnerable people. Climate change will exacerbate existing problems, including reducing access to clean water, forcing migration due to loss of land in coastal regions, posing a serious risk to food security and negatively affecting the human health.

“It is imperative to reduce global poverty while building the capacity of those living in poverty to adapt to climate change,” reads the Corporate Knights Sustainable Cities Index report.

About Walter J. Leslie

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