Climate change mitigation projects are notoriously difficult to finance; however, adaptation projects may even be harder to find resources for. There is a lack of both bankable adaptation projects and of financiers interested in supporting them. To address this gap, the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) will soon begin work in Durban on developing a business case for the city to self-fund community-based management of thousands of kilometres of its watercourses. The CFF also organised several sessions at the C40 African Adaptation Forum in Accra in December 2017, aiming to shed light on how different cities in Africa are accessing local, national and international sources of finance.
In partnership with ICLEI, the CFF organised a session titled ‘How to finance climate change adaptation projects in cities: Past experiences, present challenges, and future opportunities’ at the 2018 ICLEI Resilient Cities Conference. The session was unique in the conference programme as it focused specifically on the issue of financing, illustrating examples of different resources available to cities implementing climate change adaptation projects. Now in its 9th edition, Resilient Cities, also known as the Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation, is the leading event connecting local government officials and adaptation practitioners, and a forum to discuss the multifaceted challenge of urban resilience.
The session drew upon the experiences of city officials, uncovering differences in past experiences, present challenges and future opportunities across cities of different sizes, geography, and environmental risks. Oswar Mungkasa, Deputy Governor for Spatial Planning and Environment in Jakarta, highlighted the city’s efforts to leverage private sector resources through availability payments, Islamic finance schemes and tradable building allowances. In Cauayan City, in the Philippines, the municipal government is addressing the issue of adapting to ever-stronger typhoons through projects aiming to promote sustainable mobility, clean water and disaster risk prevention, often financed together with private sector partners.
Similar constraints in delivering climate change adaptation projects were expressed by a representative from the city of uMhlathuze, in South Africa. Competing financial needs, disjointed governance systems, and long implementation periods hinder the development of comprehensive, long-term adaptation projects. However, strategic partnerships with international organisations have helped to manage climate risks more proactively. The session was complemented by a representative of ICLEI, who outlined the organisation’s work with local governments to support project preparation and access to financing through initiatives such as ICLEI’s Transformative Action Programme and its participation within the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA).
- Lisa Junghans, Climate Finance and Urban Resilience Expert, CFF (Moderator)
- Oswar M. Mungkasa, Deputy Governor for Spatial Planning and Environment, DKI Jakarta (Special Capital City District of Jakarta), Indonesia
- Bernard Faustino Dy, Mayor of Cauayan City, Philippines
- Nontsundu Ndonga, City of uMhlathuze, South Africa
- Maryke van Staden, Director of the carbonn center; Programme Manager, Low Carbon Cities, ICLEI