News May 11, 2021

CFF Support: Frequently Asked Questions

For Mexico City project
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  • Last Updated June 4th

On April 20th, 2021, the C40 Cities Finance Facility opened its application portal. Cities can apply for support from the CFF to develop finance-ready projects to reduce emissions and strengthen resilience against the impacts of a warming climate. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the CFF application process.

All other details about the application process, including the application portal link, can be found on the application landing page. The CFF team will be available to support your city throughout the duration of the application window to answer queries, to ensure there is sufficient information about the CFF, and provide additional information as needed. You can reach the CFF team by emailing

Selection Criteria 

Which cities are eligible for support? 

  • The application portal will first be open to C40 cities. Later the portal will also be open to non-C40 cities but which are located in a country with a C40 city. The application must be made by a representative of a city government or municipal agency. Your city also must be located in a country that is eligible for official development assistance according to the OECD DAC list

Can current CFF partner cities apply for support for a new project?

  • Yes, currently CFF partner cities can apply for support for a new project, but this project needs to be considerably different from the project already supported by the CFF (project needs to be of a different type than the one previously supported) and the city will need to show that the type of capacity development support sought is also different from what has been provided.

What will be the criteria for selecting new projects? Are these different from existing criteria?

  • When cities submit an application for the CFF the projects will be first subject to longlisting criteria. These criteria include project maturity, tangible infrastructure, completeness of the application. For projects in cities the CFF has already worked or currently works with, the project must be of a different type than the project already supported by the CFF in the city. These projects will then be assessed against six detailed criteria: Scalability, Climate benefit, Financing, City Context, Implementation challenges, Equity and benefits. The 6th criteria, equity and benefits, will assess how the project includes considerations on equity and inclusion, as well as potential regarding contributing to a sustainable economic recovery from the crisis caused by the COVID pandemic.

Do projects necessarily need to be featured in a city’s Climate Action Plan?

  • Strong preference will be given to projects that are featured in the Cities’ Climate Action Plans. In exceptional circumstances, projects that are not part of a CAP can be considered, and the evaluation team will assess the project’s political support in another form.

Do projects need a specific financing volume? 

  • The average finance volume of CFF projects supported in its previous phases was USD 43 million. The CFF supported projects range from financing volumes of USD 5 million to USD 90 million. The finance volume of projects varies based on a range of factors including scale (e.g. citywide), sector (e.g. energy, buildings) or a combination of these. The CFF therefore does not have a defined finance volume threshold for its assessment, however based on its past and present portfolio of projects, the recommended volume is between USD 10 million and USD 50 Million. If your project falls outside of this threshold please do contact a member of our team to discuss the project in more detail.

Project Details

Which sectors are eligible for CFF support?

  • The CFF will be receiving applications for projects in the following sectors: mobility, energy, waste, water, buildings and adaptation. We are also open to a range of cross-sectoral projects across these sectors.

Can project proposals be cross-sectoral?

  • Yes, proposals can be cross-sectoral as long as they meet our eligibility criteria. Cross-sectoral projects are encouraged.

Will you also support a strategy or policy, or only tangible infrastructure?

  • The CFF support does not provide support for strategy, plan or policy formation but rather tangible infrastructure projects. We are however open to a range of infrastructure projects from grey, blue and green infrastructure to nature based solutions.

Is there a specific project size threshold for the monetary value?

  • There is no monetary threshold that needs to be met.

Can a city apply with more than one project?

  • Yes, cities are welcome and encouraged to apply with more than one project. The CFF will review all projects submitted and work with the cities to consider supporting one or more of the submitted projects.

During the application can I indicate multiple answers in Questions 1, 5, and 15?

  • Yes, it is normal to indicate multiple applicable items from the provided lists. They are not exhaustive thus indicating other items are normal too.

During the application what type of costs should I include in the cost estimate?

  • The question on cost estimate refers only to the initial capital expenditure of the project. If there is no estimate of capital expenditure at this stage you can write "Unknown" in the box. Please note, the project cost will not increase or decrease the chances of selection. It will only be used as a reference in the later stages of the project scoping period.

If there is more than one agency writing a project proposal, can we assign an agency as the leading agency?

  • If there is more than one agency writing this project proposal you can assign a leading agency and the other will be the supporting or implementing agency.

What if I have difficulty adding my attachments to the application? 

  • If your attachments are too large or you have difficulty submitting them to the application portal, you can send them to Please include the name of your application in the subject line. 


What are the timelines for application?

  • The CFF application portal has opened on April 20th and will remain open until 6 June for C40 cities. Applications will be analysed on a rolling basis. Cities will be contacted on the status of their application as soon as this information is available. Please note that depending on future funding, the timelines presented may change.

How long does CFF support last?

  • This depends on the project and a number of contextual factors. CFF engagement typically takes about 1-2 years.

Is there room to updated or revise a proposal if it does not pass the first phase?

  • Within the screening period, we can reach out in regards to the completeness of the application. We will reach out to the application before the scoring period.

Should a city still apply if there is an election or change in policy in the applying city during the application process?

  • If the team in charge of the project will not change and there is still continuity there should be no problem with your application. Please indicate this situation in your application.