Cities and finance launch new global initiative to strengthen urban climate investment

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The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and European Investment Bank have launched a new partnership to accelerate urban climate action for cities.

The Global Climate City Challenge is a joint initiative of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, representing over 9,000 cities from six continents, and the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank, and in collaboration with global and local city networks, including ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

The Global Climate City Challenge pilot initiative will address key technical and financing barriers to strengthen investment in green projects and programmes essential to improve resilience to a changing climate in cities home to millions of people.

The initiative is intended to strengthen technical preparation and financing for cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America – projects in an initial six cities will be selected to benefit and eligible schemes can get in touch today.

The new initiative seeks to transform financing for low-carbon and climate resilient infrastructure by mobilising significant private investment and increasing support from public resources. The programme will strengthen financing to help cities to cope better with a changing climate, cut energy bills, improve waste and water use and support low carbon and resilient sustainable development.

The Global Climate City Challenge was launched at the Global Climate Action Summit by Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito and Global Covenant of Mayors Board Member, and Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Vice President.

Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito City, Ecuador and Global Covenant of Mayors Board Member said:

“Cities around the world have a multitude of challenges to cope with, with limited means to do address them. 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.”

First EIB joint technical and financial urban climate action programme launched

In the coming weeks the Global Climate City Challenge will support climate action projects in six cities under an initial pilot programme. This will include working to enhance the bankability of projects and increasing financing support as well as sharing experience of smart city technology and innovative urban financing.

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President commented:

“Accelerating urban investment to reduce carbon emissions and better cope with a changing climate is crucial for future generations. 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.”

Municipal and local authorities, as well as municipal authorities, utilities and partners involved in financing urban projects will be able to benefit from the new initiative.

The initiative will focus on high-impact projects in Africa, central Asia, Latin America, the European neighbourhood and EU accession counties.

City challenge winners will benefit from the first targeted support from the Global Climate City Challenge with engagement expected to last two years.

In a first phase, EIB will shortlist 10-12 projects that would require technical assistance to secure financing. The EIB may request additional information as necessary. Out of the shortlisted projects at least 6 projects will be selected.

The results of the selection will be published in the first quarter of 2019.

Looking ahead, the Global Covenant of Mayors and European Investment Bank are exploring how to scale up the Global Climate City Challenge initiative and further accelerate support for urban climate action, including through cooperation with additional financial partners.

Click here for more information and details of how to apply to take part in the pilot.

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