Recognising the risk posed by climate change to the city’s future economic growth and to its communities, in 2004 the Municipal Climate Protection Programme (MCPP) was developed with the aim of assisting the municipality in adapting to and mitigating climate change. The programme placed emphasis on the importance of mainstreaming climate actions into all aspects of work undertaken by the municipality. As a result, the MCPP was included in the City’s Integrated Development Plan in 2006 and the Climate Protection Branch was formed within the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department in 2007. The Branch is tasked with driving the climate adaptation agenda for the city. In 2008 the Energy office was established. The initial focus for the Energy Office was on improving electricity usage efficiency in municipal infrastructure. The mandate for mitigation was only afforded to the Energy Office in 2009 ahead of Durban hosting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP17) in 2011.
 
A detailed description of this climate change journey can be found in the following peer review publications:
• Roberts, D. and O’Donoghue, S. (2013) Urban environmental challenges and climate change action in Durban, South Africa. Environment and Urbanisation 25(2): 299-319.
• Roberts, D., Morgan, D., O’Donoghue, S., Guastella, L., Hlongwa, N. and Price, P. (2015) Durban, South Africa: Working Towards Transformative Adaptation in an African City in Bartlett, S. and Satterthwaite, D. (eds) Cities in a Finite Planet, Routledge, London; 96 – 115.
• Roberts, D. and O’Donoghue, S. (2016) Chapter 18 City View: Durban, South Africa in State of the World: Can a City Be Sustainable?  Mastny, L. (Ed). The Worldwatch Institute, Island Press, Washington. 337 – 342.