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UCLG: Leverage Climate Finance to Finance the Sustainable City

This blog post was prepared by UCLG.

In line with the dynamic started during the World Summit Climate & Territories in Lyon last July, non-state stakeholders mobilized on the issue of financing the fight against climate change have gathered on several occasions during the COP21, in order to strengthen the synergies between on-going initiatives, and bring joint advocacy messages to the attention of negotiators.

The implementation of the SDGs, the LPAA objectives as well as the Paris City Hall Declaration, lead forthwith to the issue of financing local public policies. The strengthening of local governments’ structural resources, and their facilitated access to climate finance, including to the green fund, constitute key levers to activate to be able to meet the challenges of climate change, and finance resilient infrastructures. Depending on the implementation of financial engineering mechanisms well-adapted to local governments’ constraints, climate finance could even represent an opportunity to channel global savings towards territories more efficiently.

The session organized by UCLG Committee on Local Finance at mid-term negotiations, gathered both development partners and local elected officials in order to bring out the main areas of work to be developed and the key topics to reflect further on with the aim of drawing, from now to next year, concrete actions (action agenda, LPAA and COP22) to meet the challenges.

  • Going deeper into decentralization legal and financial frameworks, as well as dialogue between various levels of governments, have been emphasized during the debate as key pre-requisites to facilitate local governments’ access to existing financial mechanisms;
  • Expanding and diversifying local structural resources, that determine local governments’ capability to access long-term funding, as well as creating guarantee mechanisms, also appear as key challenges for financing sustainable cities;
  • The question of strengthening local capacity in terms of technical and financial engineering has been at the core of discussions. In this sense, the creation of an online platform for exchange and sharing of experiences, as announced by the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA), seems to be well-adapted and particularly relevant for the designing and financing of climate-related projects. This coalition of stakeholders, including 36 development financing institutions and several networks of local governments, is advocating for pooling efforts and drawing a roadmap for the year to come and the COP22, in particular on a project of Subnational Climate Finance Facility with consistent procedures.

Speakers included Claire Charbit, Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development, OECD; David Jackson, Director Local Development Practice Area, UNCDF; Ben Henderson, City Councilor of Edmonton, President of the Canadian Green Municipal Fund; Geoffrey Makhubo, MMC Finance at the Municipality of Johannesburg, Vice-President of FMDV; Agnès Buscaglia, French Development Agency.