Photo credit: The Climate Club

C40 has announced an unprecedented investment in climate projects for its cities in the Global South as the C40 World Mayors Summit comes to an end in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This announcement comes ahead of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt next month.

At COP27, world leaders will gather in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6–18 to discuss ways to hasten public-private partnerships for climate action.

By advancing a pipeline of projects to carry out climate action plans, C40 mayors are committing to halving emissions by 2030 as a priority for C40 Chair Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Sadiq has already fulfilled his commitment to spend two-thirds of C40’s budget supporting climate action and green recovery efforts in Global South cities, as the group has led numerous successful cross-sectoral collaborations to allocate investment into urban climate action projects, particularly in the Global South.

Today, C40 has announced a number of fresh investments and collaborations.

34 projects that C40 is working on in the Global South with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and other partners are anticipated to mobilize over $1 billion in funding by the time they are put into place.

20 projects in 17 cities, including five non-C40 cities, have received support from the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) so far. These initiatives are anticipated to receive more than $650 million in funding, and they will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 2.5 million tons. Cities like Bogota, Curitiba, Durban, Guadalajara, Jakarta, Mexico City, Quezon City, and Rio de Janeiro have already benefited from these initiatives.

CFF has today revealed the next group of 13 cities and 15 projects that will receive support from the fund, all of which are located in the Global South and are generously funded by the governments of the UK, Germany, and France. These cities were chosen from a variety of sectors, including waste management (Accra), adaptation, and nature-based solutions to global warming (Cape Town, Drakenstein, Kuala Lumpur, Medelln, and Salvador), buildings and energy (Bogotá, Cape Town, Dakar, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Mumbai), and mobility (Freetown, Lima, Rio de Janeiro).

In Latin America, C40 and the International Finance Corp (IFC) are collaborating to help cities find innovative financing options by helping them identify, quantify, and develop high-priority investments from their climate action plans using the IFC’s APEX software.

The parties anticipate that their cooperation will aid in creating a preliminary pipeline of projects worth more than $500 million.

Separately, the World Bank Group, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the CAF-Development Bank of Latin America reaffirm their commitment to promoting sustainable growth and funding projects that address climate change in the region for at least $77.9 billion through 2026.

The Urban and Municipal Development (UMDF) Trust Fund of the African Development Bank (AFDB) and other mechanisms will assist African cities in identifying, preparing, and advancing climate resilience and mitigation projects.

It is anticipated that this bolstered city-level investment will catalyze sizable downstream investments in public and private financing for infrastructure projects related to climate change.

The group also announced a strong partnership with AFDB to develop climate-smart infrastructure projects at the pace and scale necessary to meet climate goals in order to assist cities in seizing this opportunity.

In order to enhance CFOs’ capacity as climate leaders, support the creation of a pipeline of climate-smart projects, and improve coordination with significant financial institutions in the area, C40 and AFDB will also establish a Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Network for African Cities.

With support from the Open Society Foundations and others, a new Cities Inclusive Climate Action Fund will give cities the tools they need to speed up climate action that is just, fair, and inclusive and benefits all residents, especially frontline communities.

The group says the partnerships and investments announced today show the power of cross-sectoral collaborations in diverting funds from fossil fuels and into a just and green recovery for cities.

The multiplier effect required to provide the funding for cities to contribute fairly to keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 would be produced by scaling up initiatives and investments on a global scale.

However, the group says, there is still a sizable funding gap between required investment and funds available for urban climate action and now is the time to mobilize financial resources from both public and private sources to assist cities in effectively and expeditiously addressing the climate crisis.

Mayor of London and C40 Cities Chair Sadiq Khan states that one of his top priorities has been to support cities in the Global South, which are on the frontlines and suffering the worst effects of climate change.

He also says that he has already succeeded in ensuring that two-thirds of C40’s budget goes to support climate action and green recovery efforts in Global South cities and that three-quarters of C40 cities are now reducing their per capita emissions at a faster rate than their current levels.

“With the cities as climate doers and governments the climate delayers, he said, “the difference between cities and national governments has been like the difference between night and day.”

Buenos Aires’ Chief of Government Horacio Rodrguez Larreta observes that while countries in the Global South are increasingly vulnerable to floods, fires, and droughts, they are only a minor contributor to historical global emissions.

He contends that as a result of climate change’s detrimental effects on productivity and harvests, which result in financial losses and increased global food insecurity, investment in the Global South is essential for helping developing nations combat the effects of climate change, lessen their severity, and pursue adaptation strategies.

“That is why we are thankful for the commitments made during this summit by international development banks and institutions to support financing in the Global South.”

The mayor of Bogota, Claudia López, says that dozens of global cities are outperforming their nations in terms of reducing emissions and that cities are driving an increase in public and private financing by developing a pipeline of projects and plans that deliver for the climate while also supplying infrastructure, housing, and other essential elements to a fair, equitable, green transition. However, cities cannot act alone.

“We face serious challenges that include the need for greater support and financing from national and international sources, sound regulation and science-based climate policies that can stimulate markets and green investment. Lastly, we need more innovation, more technology for climate resilience.”

The mayor of Accra, Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey, adds that she and the other C40 members are arguing for greater funding for urban initiatives that promote a just and green transition.

“Accra, with the support of the C40 Cities Finance Facility, is targeting financing for solutions in the waste sector, the city’s largest source of emissions.”

The projects, according to the mayor, are meant to promote a long-term vision for fundamental changes in waste collection in Accra and beyond, as well as to show the financial and technical viability of decentralized composting measures.

“We also commend the African Development Bank’s new initiatives on urban climate finance as we continue to work closely with partners that share our vision for the future.”

“It’s fantastic news that, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we are able to announce record investment in climate projects spearheaded by C40 cities in the Global South. C40 mayors are ready to deliver action on the ground that cuts emissions and builds resilience in cities, and we’re extremely grateful to our supporters from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the French Development Agency and others for their continued investment in inclusive, equitable and sustainable communities. Now we need a step change in private finance. As United Nations figures show, the annual investment we need to deliver on the Paris Agreement is less than what is currently being invested in fossil fuels. It’s time to invest in a cleaner, fairer future for all, ” says C40 Executive Director Mark Watts.

In order to address the climate crisis and build a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive, nearly 100 mayors of the world’s most influential cities have formed the C40 network. The C40 mayors are dedicated to using a people-centered, science-based strategy to help the world keep global warming below 1.5°C and create thriving, just, and resilient communities. Mayors are collaborating with a large coalition of leaders from labor, business, the youth climate movement, and civil society to move forward more quickly and further than ever through a Global Green New Deal.

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