The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) commissioned a Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan for the Western Cape, with the overall goal to strengthen the province’s resilience to climate change and its adaptive capacity, particularly in vulnerable economic sectors and communities. It further aimed to maintain the Western Cape’s status as a relatively low greenhouse gas emitter by reducing the provincial carbon footprint, in the face of continued economic growth. OneWorld was appointed to develop a climate change response strategy and action plan for the province. The work included planning to adapt both now and into the future to minimize adverse impacts of climate change at a provincial level. The work undertaken included a review of spatial development planning in the context of the projected impacts of climate change and variability, to make sure that climate risks are integrated into development planning processes.
OneWorld Sustainable Investments adopted a stakeholder-led approach to assess the risks and work closely with a team of internal and external scientific, resource, economic and strategy experts in order to develop a workable climate change response strategy and action plan for the Western Cape Province. The risk and vulnerability assessments were underpinned to some extent by climate modelling, but the development of scenarios with key stakeholders, coupled with strategic and socio-economic analysis, ultimately resulted in the Cabinet approved strategy and action plan. The strategy saw four overarching components or strategic response options as the outcome, one of which focused on sustainable land-use planning, integrating climate change for the province. The comprehensive climate change response strategy and action plan resulted from a 2-year intervention which included partnering with Government officials through a process of obtaining Cabinet approval for the plan. This strategy is currently the benchmark used in the province’s decision and policymaking processes — both to minimize negative effects of climate variability and change, and to capitalize on potentially beneficial opportunities that may arise as a result.