Invest4Cities is GCoM’s initiative to increase the flow of public and private-sector investment in support of urban climate change mitigation and resilience projects. Invest4Cities focuses on creating better, more equitable access to finance for cities by advocating for regulatory shifts that support implementation and financing of cities’ bold climate action commitments, accelerating city capacity and removing barriers to develop investor-oriented Climate Action Plans and projects, and unlocking large-scale financing instruments to support cites’ actions.
This initiative is driven in collaboration with GCoM’s city network partners, governments, and the global financial institutions that facilitate and accelerate funding and financing solutions for cities.
Unlocking Project Pipelines
While an increasing number of cities are developing climate action plans and establishing and tracking their own “Locally Determined Contributions,” they often lack critical resources and capacity to advance such projects from an idea to a robust business case. A massive pipeline of high-quality low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure project ideas that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and that are worth billions of euros thus never reach the stage of investment readiness and implementation. Invest4Cities is mobilizing the technical resources that cities need to develop projects to be ready and attractive to investors.
The City Climate Finance Gap Fund was announced as a solution to address cities’ often lack of resources and capacity to advance high-quality low-carbon infrastructure projects. A collaboration of GCoM, the Governments of Germany and Luxembourg, World Bank Group, and European Investment Bank, the Gap Fund will significantly increase the pipeline of high quality bankable climate-friendly urban infrastructure projects by focusing on capacity building, pipeline-building for later-stage project preparation technical assistance, and pipeline-building for investors.
Mobilizing Finance Solutions
Trillions of dollars will be required to help cities build the low-emissions, resilient infrastructure necessary to combat and react to climate change. New financing solutions are essential to meet the growing opportunity for investment at the city level. Invest4Cities is gathering best practices, finding new ways of delivering finance, and collaborating with partners to advance innovative local solutions globally.
GCoM partnered with the European Commission, European Investment Bank (EIB), and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) under the umbrella of ‘Global Urbis’. This partnership provides financial advisory services and financing to foster low carbon and resilient investments. The EIB plans to lend US$100 billion by 2023 for climate-related projects and aims to develop a global advisory and financing facility focused on facilitating climate action investments in cities. This global ‘one-stop-shop’ will address market failures by providing investment and advisory support for Covenant cities. The EBRD is also working with GCoM to support the development and financing of cities’ action plans and projects necessary to cut carbon emissions with a focus on the European Neighbourhood area and the Middle East and North Africa. EBRD’s initial investment totals €500 million, with the goal of mobilizing over €1.5 billion in financing to ensure 40 to 60 cities have the necessary resources to enact critical climate actions.
While cities may have significant ambition, they can lack the autonomy to seek direct investment to support urban climate and resilience projects. Invest4Cities works to find ways for national governments to reduce the risk for investors in city projects, calling for tools such as credit enhancement instruments, or even legislative changes which make it easier for cities to attract public and private investment into climate action and enhance cities’ capacity to strengthen public financial management and municipal revenue generation.
The International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI) is committed to driving practical sustainable infrastructure solutions to combat the effects of climate change around the globe. As a founding organization of ICSI, GCoM is leading the Coalition’s action track on funding and financing. ICSI partners are now working with GCoM to provide technical support to enable the GCoM City Climate Finance Gap Fund to finance sustainable and resilient infrastructure, support the fund’s design and structure, and identify specific ways engineers can help cities build capacity and develop conceptual projects to advance for funding through the Gap Fund.
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