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How Africa’s Largest Cities Are Fighting Climate Change

African megacities are actively engaging in the battle against climate change, transforming challenges into opportunities for sustainable urban development.

Despite covering only 3% of the Earth’s surface, cities are responsible for a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, innovative strategies to combat climate change are being forged within these urban landscapes.

Lagos and Cairo, two of the continent’s largest cities, are at the forefront of this fight. They are implementing measures to mitigate the urban heat island effect and adapt to the increasing temperatures brought by climate change.

In 2020, Lagos launched its second five-year Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2020-2025 as a proactive approach to engaging with the private sector, both in the development and implementation of its CAP, aimed at combating climate change impacts.

Sustainable transport is a pillar of the Egyptian carbon emission mitigation strategy. Egypt has invested in public infrastructure, such as Cairo’s Metro Line 3 and its extension, reducing the number of cars on the city’s roads by 13% and bringing annual average PM10 levels in Greater Cairo down by over 3% in 2017.

Nairobi, Kenya, is promoting the use of solar panels and improving public transportation to reduce fossil fuel reliance and emissions.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is investing in reforestation and green infrastructure to sequester carbon.

Cape Town, South Africa, has developed a climate action plan with specific targets to lower emissions and conserve water.

Furthermore, cities in the Sahel region are enhancing their infrastructure to withstand climate shocks by setting up early warning systems for heat waves and floods.

Accra, Ghana, on its part focuses on floodplain management and drought preparedness, including promoting rainwater harvesting.

Besides these cities, individuals can also contribute to this green revolution. Actions like setting up rooftop gardens not only contribute to urban green spaces but also help cool buildings, improve air quality, and foster community engagement in climate action.

In summary, African megacities are not mere victims of climate change but active participants in creating a sustainable future.

Through a combination of local initiatives and community actions, these urban centres set an example for the world on tackling the climate crisis head-on.


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