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A new pilot initiative, the Global Climate City Challenge, will seek to address technical preparation and financing for cities across the world to strengthen investment in green projects and programs essential to improving regional resilience to climate change.
The new initiative was launched on the sidelines of the Global Climate Action Summit held in San Francisco, California, earlier this month, by the Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito and Board Member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy alongside Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The aim of the Global Climate City Challenge is to strengthen urban climate action projects in regions most likely to be affected by a changing climate, and those that are not necessarily able to fund the necessary resilience themselves, such as those throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Projects will be bolstered using best-practice and technical assistance intended to offset the risks and impact of climate change, enhance the impact of these projects, and improve the financial sustainability of first-time projects. The City Challenge will look to transform financing for low-carbon and climate resilient infrastructure by mobilizing significant levels of private investment, as well as increasing support from public resources.
“Cities around the world have a multitude of challenges to cope with, with limited means to do address them,” said Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito and Global Covenant of Mayors Board Member.
“Low carbon projects continue to be delayed due to technical capacity barriers to access private investment. The new Global Climate City Challenge brings together both sector experience and financial expertise to provide technical assistance, advisory services and blended financing instruments to local governments, to accelerate cities’ capacity to develop high quality and investor-friendly climate action plans. This new initiative will ensure that new investments in energy, transport, water, waste and resilience will make a lasting difference in the years ahead.”
The City Challenge will also benefit from the involvement of FELICITY, a technical assistance program for low-carbon infrastructure projects in cities which is jointly led with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), and which the German Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMU) expects to expand in the near-future.
“Accelerating urban investment to reduce carbon emissions and better cope with a changing climate is crucial for future generations,” explained Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“Schemes around the world already show how technical preparation and financing can make a huge difference to local challenges. The time has come to ensure that best-practice is shared and lessons learnt from the most successful projects benefit schemes being considered for the first time elsewhere. Bringing together expertise from the EIB’s work with cities around the world and the unique Global Covenant of Mayors network will help tackle the crucial urban climate action investment gap. I call upon all cities to see how this exciting new initiative can transform the impact of existing and future urban investment plans.”
The Global Climate City Challenge will look to support climate action projects in six cities in the coming weeks under an initial pilot program which will include efforts to enhance the bankability of projects as well as increasing financing support, sharing experience of smart-city technology, and innovative urban financing.