Green infrastructure is no longer out-of-reach for cities in developing countries thanks to the launch of the C40 Cities Finance Facility, a major project by C40 Cities, Germany and Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) to provide the skills, technical assistance and connections to funding opportunities needed to unlock up to $1 billion worth of sustainable infrastructure in cities across low and middle-income countries by 2020.
This transformative partnership between C40, Germany and IADB, launched today at the C40 Forum, reinforces the joint commitment to bring practical solutions to unlock the potential of all cities to deliver action on climate change.
Also announced today is funding from the British philanthropy, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, to ensure take up of a new system for transparently measuring and reporting city emissions.
The C40 Cities Finance Facility, with €3.5 million (US$3.7m) funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and $2 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), will provide technical assistance to cities within the C40 network to help them prepare sustainable infrastructure projects for investment.
“The C40 Cities Finance Facility represents a massive opportunity for cities, particularly those in the Global South,” said C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes. “The project represents a significant step forward in delivering one of my strategic aims as C40 chair, and will allow cities to leverage significant public and private financing for green infrastructure projects, enabling cities to accelerate their ambitious emissions reductions.”
The German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr Gerd Müller said, “Cities will play a vital role in efforts to achieve our climate and development goals. And the German government wants to ensure that they are able to play that role. Part of that is ensuring they have the necessary funding. That is why, together with the C40 network and the Inter-American Development Bank, we have developed the C40 Cities Finance Facility. The aim is to advise cities on issues of financing.”
“We’ve worked with mayors in more than 50 Latin American and Caribbean cities, helping them manage urban growth more sustainably. We need to develop pipelines of climate-smart projects where social, environmental, legal, regulatory, and exchange risks are adequately addressed. Even the best ideas won’t get financed if we don’t address risks properly,” said IADB President, Luis Alberto Moreno. “The C40 Cities Finance Facility will help our cities bridge exactly this problem. The IADB is proud to join this initiative to help our cities do what they need to do.”
The first step towards $1billion of green infrastructure
The first round of funding for the C40 Cities Finance Facility was announced at the C40 Forum held today in Paris alongside the COP21 climate negotiations. The initial $5.7 million is expected to ultimately reach as much as $20 million in technical assistance for cities, unlocking up to $1 billion worth of green projects worldwide within four years.
The C40 Cities Finance Facility will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions – sustainable infrastructure investment will also improve urban life, public health and economic growth, targeted at cities in the Global South.
Lima’s highly popular bus rapid transit (BRT) system was developed after the city received support from international experts, which in turn led to loans from Spanish bank BBVA and Banco del Credito de Peru. The Cities Finance Fund Facility will provide support to cities looking to develop similar projects that will help reduce their emissions and increase their resilience to climate change.
New resources to measure and report city emissions
C40 also announced at the Forum new funding from the British philanthropy the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), who will provide $5.3 million to help a minimum of 30 C40 cities in the Global South to conduct accurate inventories of their greenhouse gas emissions, set targets and develop action plans. The aim of the investment is to create a critical mass of cities across the world quantifying their urban emissions and setting robust reduction targets using an international gold standard – Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories (GPC) — and thereby supporting the implementation of the Compact of Mayors.
“To protect and secure a healthy and sustainable future for children, we support the urgent global transition to a low carbon economy,” said Graeme Sweeney, a CIFF trustee and chairman of its climate investment committee. ” We are supporting the adoption of a new global system for transparently measuring and reporting greenhouse gases emissions, which will allow mayors to identify and seek finance for the most cost-effective opportunities for climate action. ”
The funding will increase the number of cities in every region of the world that are measuring and reporting their emissions on a consistent basis. This will enable comparison between regions and provide examples for other cities to follow.
If 30 cities identified as eligible for this support were to act in three areas – building energy, transport and planning – this has the potential to decrease global GHG cumulative emissions by around 4.8 GtCO2e by 2030 – improving the chances of keeping temperature rises below the 2°C target.