From Quartz Africa
Johannesburg’s bus rapid transit system Rea Vaya—one of the continent’s first public bus systems—has saved South Africa as much as $890 million so far, by reducing travel time, improving road safety, and cutting down on carbon emissions, according to a recent report by the New Climate Economy, a project affiliated with the World Resources Institute.
Efficient transport projects like Rea Vaya, which means “We are going” in South African township slang, Scamto, could save the world’s urban cities as much as $17 trillion between now and 2050 as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 giga-tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year by 2030, according to the study. That is more than India’s total greenhouse gas emissions a year.
The study recommends investment in energy-saving buildings, better public transit systems, and waste management and criticizes the idea that countries must sacrifice economic growth to cut back on emissions. “There is now increasing evidence that emissions can decrease while economies continue to grow,” said Seth Schultz, a researcher for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, told the Guardian.
These savings matter especially in sub-Saharan Africa where countries are urbanizing faster than any other region in the world. By 2050, as much as two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. Of those, 800 million people in Africa will be living in cities.
Read more at Quartz Africa