Institutional Development Guidance Document

Transforming cities and finance to address climate change


Transforming cities and finance to address climate change

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The term 'transformation' has emerged in policy and practice over the last decade in recognition of the scale and urgency of the need for action on climate change. However, the term has been defined in different ways within academic literature and among practitioners, and there is very little guidance on how to measure, monitor and report on it.

This report unpacks the concept of transformation and what it means in the context of the CFF’s work on cities, climate change, and finance. It proposes that it is both the scale and nature of the impact that the CFF achieves which is important, but also how the impact is being achieved and how it includes systemic change. Examples from its three partner cities of Bogotá, Mexico City and Durban are discussed to explore some of the specific changes being seen, such as shifts in structures, inter-institutional coordination, mindset and partnerships, which are early signs that transformation is possible.

The report puts forward a specific definition to guide how the CFF understands, measures and aims to achieve transformation, namely:

The CFF seeks transformation through large-scale, sustained and catalytic GHG emissions reductions and enhanced resilience within cities, by supporting shifts in the systems of cities that remove critical barriers around access to finance and thus enable further action on climate change. The CFF achieves this by strengthening the capacity of cities to develop and finance climate change projects and by informing the thinking and practice of other cities, practitioners, and national and international policy-makers.

This report is a step further in the CFF’s efforts to understand and conceptualise what transformation means in the field of cities, climate change and finance.