Event September 8, 2022

Stronger Together for Green and Just Cities

  • Event Date August 24th
  • Speakers Mark Watts (Executive Director C40) Ingrid Gabriela-Hoven (Managing Director GIZ)

Key takeaways from our webinar “C40 and GIZ – Stronger together for green and just cities: A Conversation between Mark Watts (Executive Director, C40) and Ingrid Gabriela-Hoven (Managing Director, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH - GIZ)”

The climate finance gap is a critical barrier to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and getting the world on track to 1.5°C. In the aftermath of a global crisis, cities urgently need more urban climate finance to make the green and just recovery a reality.  

Given the urgency of financing climate action, Mark Watts (Executive Director, C40) and Ingrid Gabriela-Hoven (Managing Director, GIZ) held an online conversation to discuss the successful cooperation between their organisations - co-implementing the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) since 2015 - as well as their priorities for the future, obstacles to achieving them, and the role of global partnerships, like the CFF, in enabling a green and just transition. 

Moderated by Martha Gutierrez (Director of Global Policy, Governance, Cities, GIZ) and attracting over 500 GIZ and C40 Cities staff worldwide, the hour-long discussion between Mark and Ingrid focused on how the CFF has been tackling the urban finance gap to help make global south cities greener, healthier and more liveable. 



Here are some key takeaways from the conversation: 

  • Tackling the resilience challenge is crucial. 

The CFF was created to facilitate access to finance for climate change mitigation and resilience projects in urban areas through direct and targeted technical assistance. Both speakers stressed that strengthening resilience is becoming more urgent. To really make a difference on the ground, more efforts need to be invested in solutions that address the resilience challenge. Cities should be further empowered to take climate action in order to help national governments meet their climate targets. By failing to effectively build resilience, cities will ultimately lose capacity to decarbonise.  

  • Climate action must benefit all communities equitably. 

As cities work towards a green and just transition, climate action must be fair and inclusive to benefit all residents equitably. With the CFF embarking on its third project phase, there is an evident need and demand from cities to focus on equity and inclusion in climate infrastructure projects. Equity and inclusion was a key selection criteria for the CFF when choosing its next portfolio of cities and a prominent feature of projects already supported by the CFF. For instance, Bogotá is currently implementing a new bike-sharing system with inclusion and access at its core by offering reductions for low-income users, bikes with child seats for families, and accessibility for wheelchair users.  

  • Amplifying city voices to unlock untapped climate finance potential.   

Developing and emerging economies are facing debt stress with huge infrastructure needs. Despite cities increasingly leading the way in the climate action arena, there is clear untapped financing potential. Initiatives like the CFF can bridge the gap between cities and financial institutions to unlock larger-scale finance, particularly from international financing institutions. A data-driven approach will be key to show that investment in climate infrastructure will create more jobs, bring people out of poverty faster, while protecting the environment. 

In 2022-2024, a new portfolio of cities will be supported by the CFF. This support will help transform cities’ climate-proof urban infrastructure plans into bankable and finance-ready realities. The new portfolio of cities will be formally announced at C40 World Mayors Summit (19-21 October 2022).  

To learn more about inclusive bike-sharing in Bogotá and other innovative climate solutions, read our 2022 report: Banking on a just and green recovery: Lessons from 9 cities.