News June 15, 2020

Driving sustainable infrastructure through GHG emissions modelling

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  • The 17 mitigation projects supported by the CFF will: -Save over 125000 tonnes of CO2e per annum until 2050 -Provide 1143 projects with support

Cities want to take action on combatting climate change.


Around the world, cities are demonstrating their commitment to climate change and their will to follow-through on delivering a sustainable and inclusive future for their citizens. Commitments such as C40’s Deadline 2020 initiative – which commits cities to a 1.5 degree compatible future, above and beyond that action taken by many of their national governments – has been signed thus far by 116 of the world’s largest cities. However, despite these ambitions, the vast majority of cities will struggle to implement this vision alone, often lacking the capacity, knowledge or cash reserves to develop their Climate Actions Plans (CAPs) or to prepare their sustainable infrastructure projects. Given limited resources, it is essential for cities to be able to prioritise the development of high impact projects. However many cities struggle to easily quantify the environmental, social and health benefits that these projects bring. 

The C40 Climate Action Planning (CAP) programme has been working to respond to the need for technical staff and decision makers within the city to understand the impact their projects will have, by developing tools and guidance backed with a robust methodology. These project-level calculation tools will help cities to calculate the estimated greenhouse gas emissions reductions, air quality improvements, health benefits and employment impact of their projects.

Through the collaboration between the CAP programme and the CFF, these tools have been able to be tested on the projects supported by the CFF, which has enabled (1) the cities to better integrate their projects into their Climate Action Plans, (2) integrate the data into the business case for the project, (3) improve the quality of the tools and (4) allowed the CFF to measure its impact of the programme. These preliminary estimates suggest that the mitigation projects that have been calculated will save over 125,000 tonnes of CO2e per annum until 2050 or 4.06 million tonnes of CO2e over their lifetime, the equivalent of planting over 5 million acres of forests in the USA. You can find the estimated savings for each project on their respective project page

Tonnes of CO2e saved over the project lifetime


The equivalent acres of forests in the USA


Estimating the social and environmental impact of projects is an important asset in the development of the business case for a project and can support a city in being able to access the finance required to deliver their projects. These estimates may support them to:

  • Demonstrate the importance of the project to their respective national governments to receive loans or grants because of its significant contribution to their national climate action plans (Nationally Determined Contributions, NDC’s).
  • Potentially receive preferential lending rates or small grants from (multi)national development banks or private institutions because of its contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Build the internal business case to invest directly from the municipal budget because of the strong environmental and social benefits to their citizens.

Next Steps:

The CFF and the C40 CAP programme will continue to collaborate over 2020 to develop products to support global cities through:

  • Refining the greenhouse gas emission estimates for each mitigation project by integrating the results of the CFF’s technical assistance work.
  • Undertaking estimates for Rio’s solar photovoltaic project and Jakarta’s bus electrification project.
  • Working with a limited number of city officials and practitioners to refine the usability of the tools to a wide range of audiences.
  • Publishing the impact calculation tool for any city official or practitioner to use.
  • Develop user guides, training materials and support materials to enable both decision makers and technical officials to independently utilise the tools to support the development of their sustainable infrastructure priorities.

CFF and CAP receive support from the UK Government's ‘Climate Leadership in Cities’ programme. This support contributes to helping the world’s largest cities in emerging and developing countries to develop, finance and implement ambitious plans and projects for tackling climate change. Following a dedicated transformative approach, the programme leverages synergies between CAP's planning and CFF's project preparation work. It therefore contributes to concerted sustainable infrastructure action by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 





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