Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, one of the member cities of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), has committed to actions towards halving their GHG emissions by 2030.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of Addis Ababa is projected to reach 32 million tonnes by 2030 and 78 million tonnes by 2050 from the current base of 19 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2016, the city’s inventory and its projected emission in the climate action plan showed.

Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, one of the member cities of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), has committed to actions towards halving their GHG emissions by 2030, along with the 12 other African member cities. These cities are far from meeting the air quality standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The air quality in Addis Ababa, for instance, ranges from 22 micrograms per cubic metre (µg / m3) to 42 µg / m3. This means that Addis Ababa’s air quality is four to eight times higher than the WHO guideline threshold of safer health of 5 µg / m3.

The city is affected by climate change and the risks of flood, drought and heatwave will increase in the coming years, findings from the City Vulnerability and Climate Risk Assessment showed.

C40 Air Quality Regional Technical Advisor Tibebu Assefa underlined that Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using an inclusive, science-based and truly collaborative approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities.

The advisor added that Addis Ababa, along with the other African member cities, plans to achieve their 2024 goals using the following: Driving urban prosperity through increased and efficient use of renewable energy; Minimising waste and methane emissions through sustainable waste and sanitation management; Increasing water security and resilience against water-related disasters through resilient and green infrastructure.

There are 13 active C40 member cities in Africa including Addis Ababa, Abidjan, Accra, Capetown, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Ekurhuleni, Freetown, Lagos, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Tshwane.

They have also pledged to create and begin implementing inclusive climate action plans consistent with their fair share of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, the ‘Climate Action Plan’ of Addis Ababa stated.

“C40 mayors in Africa have demonstrated leadership and inspired others to act by signing onto various C40 Global Declarations,” said C40 Deputy Regional Director, Gifti Nadi.

The deputy director pointed out that C40 mayors in Africa have engaged other non-C40 cities through other networks of which they are members, including the Global Covenant of Mayors, regional networks like the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum or country networks, such as the Urban Energy Network in South Africa.

“Mayors’ leadership roles have helped overcome barriers to change, such as the lack of data essential to developing the evidence-base to implement climate actions and drive the decision-making processes,” she added.

Therefore, C40 is working with the city to address these issues through a variety of initiatives and projects. It is supporting the city government to monitor air quality and tackle climate change.

It has prepared a Climate Action Plan for the city, has assisted in conducting GHG emissions inventory, monitoring of air quality monitors, training of experts and the like, noted Said Abdella, director of Addis Ababa Environment Protection Authority (Climate Change and Alternative Energy).

“The air quality results of some monitors show the average PM2.5 in the city is higher than the national & global standard. The health impacts of the poor air quality associated to with mortality from both respiratory and cardiovascular diseases,” he said.

On the other hand, the Ethiopian constitution Article 44 / 1 has stipulated: “All persons have the right to a clean and healthy environment.”

In its resolution, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has already recognized the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a human right.

He underscored that the city is facing floods, reduction / fluctuation in rainfall, landslide, heatwaves, hot days / nights, among others. These result in damage in infrastructure, vector-borne diseases, water shortage and other problems.

The director pointed out that his authority is striving to address the climate change mitigation and adaptation measures through mainstreaming in sectors of the city.

Though the Air Quality Management Plan is prepared at the city level, requires skilled manpower and budget to implement it as well as creates awareness on both issues has been conducted at all levels using various means, he added.

C40 is a network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis.

The major objectives of C40 include reducing urban carbon emissions, increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change as well as promoting sustainable urban development, alongside creating a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive. It was established to help cities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Originally published at DownToEarth