Event December 13, 2019

The Urban Opportunity at COP25

  • DATE December 5
  • LOCATION Madrid

Delivering scaled-up transformative climate action and financing in cities is key to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Under the facilitation of Vera Scholz, Director Division Climate Change, Environment & Infrastructure at GIZ, the panellists could easily agree to this assessment on Saturday afternoon at the pavilion of the British Government at COP 25. The more the merrier: National policy makers, city administration officials, financial institutions from both the public and the private sector, supporting structures from NGOs, research institutions and implementing agencies – they all have critical roles to play in driving transformative climate action in cities. 

The UK’s Climate Leadership in Cities (CLIC) programme brings all these actors together. CLIC takes an integrated multi-level approach by combining three distinct projects. First, it supports cities to develop climate action plans through C40’s Climate Action Planning programme. Second, CLIC supports national decision-makers with cutting-edge policy relevant research and engagement activities through the Coalition for Urban Transitions , delivered by the World Resource Institute (WRI). Third, the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) is central for the implementation on the ground: Jointly implemented by GIZ and C40, CFF receives funding from the UK Government (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy), BMZ, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and USAID. The CFF supports 19 projects in 17 cities to prepare and deliver finance-ready sustainable infrastructure projects. It aims to enable cities to independently undertake similar projects in the future.


Effective provision of finance was also central to the discussion on the panel, inter alia with representatives from the cities of Lima, Peru, and Guadalajara, Mexico, complemented by speakers from WRI, World Bank and Climate Policy Initiative. Proven investment models are often not replicated at scale due to the lack of information between financiers and city project developers and capacities on infrastructure finance models at city administrations are yet to be strengthened. Possible solutions: Blended finance schemes with the public sector providing seed money to lever private investment at a more mature project stage or multi-stakeholder coalitions like the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA). In addition, all could agree that integrated project consortia like CLIC can actually make a difference in supporting cities on their way to carbon neutrality.