How to Close the Gap between Finance and Urban Climate Action

08.03.2016

Local governments will be crucial in keeping the world on a global development pathway that limits the increase in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (°C) above pre-industrial levels.

At COP21 ICLEI presented the Transformative Actions Program (TAP), a global and ambitious collaboration of 29 organizations, that selected 120 local climate action projects from 87 cities and regions in 41 countries, ranging from waste management and reforestation to ecomobility and low-carbon development. The full list of TAP projects is available on our online TAP Platform.

Based on the TAP projects applications, and a literature review on public finance for climate actions, ICLEI is releasing today a Gap analysis report that aims at identifying the main barriers for local and subnational climate action to access public climate investment (primarily in the form of funds and loans from multilateral development banks).

The “Gap Analysis Report: Closing the gap between finance and urban climate action” can be found here.

The report will be one of our key contributions to the HabitatIII Thematic Event on financing urban development, hosted by Mexico City Government on 9–11 March 2016.

Implementing all 120 TAP projects will require a total investment of at least 9 billion US dollars, in which the share for cities and regions in developing countries constitutes 42% of total (around $3.8bn), an amount that triples the total financing secured by the Green Climate Fund in its 2015 portfolio.

Scaling up climate finance efforts towards transformative actions of ambitious local and subnational governments is therefore paramount, if global community is committed to ensure success for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and other Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal:11 on sustainable cities.

On the other hand, the Gap Analysis Report identifies several barriers for local and subnational governments to effectively implement sustainable transformative projects: namely, the decentralized information about finance resources; the complexity of project selection criteria; and the lack of specialized staff in local governments to prepare project finance profiles.

Local and subnational governments with transformative sustainable projects need a platform where all financing agencies transparently provide their project identification and selection procedures with unified assessment criteria.
In the meantime, grants and subsidies should be used to raise awareness and build capacity in local and subnational governments. Intensive training should be carried out to benefit all local and subnational government staff for identifying, prioritizing transformative sustainable actions and preparing project finance materials.

The Gap Analysis Report is part of the Low Carbon City Lab — Unlocking the climate action potential of cities (LoCaL), a Climate- KIC flagship program.
The report was realized in collaboration with South Pole Group, WWF and Gold Standard.


Originally published at www.iclei.org.