Johannesburg is the greenest city in South Africa

The city has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita among the country’s four major cities, the lowest per capita electricity consumption and the second-highest amount of green space among 15 African cities surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit for its African Green City Index, the unit revealed on Tuesday.

Though Johannesburg’s greenhouse gas emissions were the lowest among South African cities it scored poorly against a range of other cities throughout the continent. Cities surveyed included Cassablanca (Morocco), Tunis (Tunisia), Alexandria and Cairo (Egypt), Accra (Ghana), Lagos (Nigeria), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), Maputo (Mozambique) and Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

Johannesburg’s greenhouse gas emissions were measured at 984kg per person versus an index average of 1480kg/ person; its electricity consumption was measured at 5,6GJ/ person against an index average of 6,4GJ/person. The city had 10-million trees and 231m² of green space per person against an index average of 74m² per person.

On the downside, Johannesburg had the index’s third-longest public transport network (6,8km/km² against 2,7km/km²). The city’s challenges lay in its gaining — along with the rest of SA — 90% of its electricity from coal, urban sprawl (2400 people/km² versus an index average of 4600 people/km²) and frequent traffic jams and heavy reliance on private vehicles. Other challenges were that it had t he second-highest water consumption in the index (349l/ person/ day against an index average of 187l/ person/ day) and recycled less than 5% of its waste.

The EIU African Green City Index, commissioned by  Siemens, will be released in Durban at the month-end United Nations climate change talks.


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