The way in which cities develop over the coming decades will play a
major role in determining the success of climate change mitigation
efforts and the degree to which climate change impacts those at risk.
Yet most cities in the developing world face severe barriers to planning
and financing the key infrastructure investments necessary to steer
their growth in a climate-compatible way. International public climate
finance is a fraction of total financial flows, but has the potential to
play a pivotal role in helping municipal governments and other urban
actors overcome the many barriers they face.
This paper reviews the approaches taken by multilateral climate funds in
the period 2010-2014 to support low-emission and climate-resilient
development in developing country cities. It identifies US$ 842 million
in approved climate finance for explicitly urban projects, which equates
to just over one in every ten dollars spent on climate finance over
these five years. The majority of this finance has supported low-carbon
urban transport systems in fast-growing middle-income countries.
Adaptation funds financed only a handful of explicitly urban projects in
the review period.
The following implications are highlighted for future climate fund
engagement at the urban level:
- climate funds must focus on catalysing action by others
- climate funds need to develop appropriate access arrangements for
reaching the most vulnerable urban residents
- mainstreaming climate risks and mitigation into local governance must
remain a priority, but is not a solution by itself
- climate funds can expand their impact by supporting urban project
Barnard, S. Climate finance for cities. ODI, London, UK (2015) 28 pp.
Climate finance for cities