Coal-Powered Johannesburg Approves Policy on Greener Buildings

The Johannesburg council has approved a draft policy for the development of energy-efficient buildings powered by cleaner sources of electricity including renewables, according to the city’s website.

South Africa’s economic hub aims to be carbon neutral “within the buildings and energy sector” by 2050, according to the statement. The policy will set “mandatory and voluntary high-performance standards for all new buildings within Johannesburg’s built environment, on a pathway toward a low carbon future,” it said.

The most industrialized nation on the continent uses coal to generate almost all of its electricity. The state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. has also struggled to meet demand sometimes resorting to rolling blackouts to prevent a complete breakdown of its fragile system.

The green building draft policy stems from a partnership with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, according to the statement.

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