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World Bank Cities at COP26

November 2-11, 2021

Glasgow, Scotland & Online


The World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Recovery, Resilience and Land Global Practice will engage in several high-level events at the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. 

As the world continues to urbanize, how cities are built and managed will determine the trajectory of global GHG emissions. Although cities occupy only 2% of global land area, they consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for over 70% of global GHG emissions from final energy use.

Cities also suffer increasing climate-related risks, such as heat stress, urban flooding, and sea level rise, as well as challenges resulting from population growth, migration, and aging or inadequate infrastructure. That is why urban areas are indispensable to the global movement to adapt to, mitigate, and reduce the effects of climate change.

Over the course of the next two weeks, we will be part of several events that highlight the need for urgent climate action in cities and how it is necessary for a variety of stakeholders to work together if we are to achieve this goal. 

How Cities are Inspiring Nations and Companies to Embrace Forest Action
November 2, 12 – 1:30 p.m. UK Time / Nature Zone Pavilion, Blue Zone

Forests help to keep the Earth, its people, and its cities healthy. As governments and the private sector shape the global climate response at COP26, we will discuss the ways in which cities are leading forest conservation and inspiring financial investments in nature, particularly through the Cities4Forests “Call to Action on Forests and Climate.” The panel discussion will include mayors, senior officials and corporate leaders, and representatives from the world’s top financial institutions.

Panelists will describe innovative efforts to use forests and other nature-based solutions to mitigate, adapt to and fight climate change, ensure water security, preserve biodiversity, protect human health and well-being, and promote greater social equity.

For more information: Integrating Green and Gray: Creating Next-Generation Infrastructure


Finance flowing to accelerate Climate Action: Innovation and Partnership
November 3, 1:00-2:25 p.m. UK time / Multilevel Action Pavilion, Blue Zone

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is producing this session, part of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Time4Multilevel Action Dialogues. At the event, speakers from city networks, city representatives, and international financing institutions will discuss the barriers and solutions for cities to access climate finance. The City Climate Finance Gap Fund will be featured.

For more information


Resilient by Nature: Scaling up and Financing Nature-Based Solutions
November 3, 5 p.m. UK time / Side Event

Nature-based solutions (NBS) and ecosystem-based approaches have emerged as viable alternatives and approaches to complement conventional infrastructure investments. The session will discuss how NBS, and best practices in using them, can help communities to build resilence. Participants will talk about scaling up financial resources for widening NBS uptake.

Event organizers, including the World Bank/GFDRR, Friendship NGO, the UN Environment Programme, the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, will share reports and findings.

For more information


Mobilizing Urban Climate Finance through the City Climate Finance Gap Fund 
November 5, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. UK Time / Benelux Pavilion

Cities’ financial needs in shifting to a low-carbon, resilient future are in the trillions of dollars, especially in rapidly urbanizing cities in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This event will present the City Climate Finance Gap Fund, a collaborative effort that provides technical-assistance funding at the very early stages of planning and project design. The Fund helps to maximize climate impact, prepare and prioritize bankable climate investments, and bring cities towards low-carbon, climate resilient development pathways.

Our goals in hosting the session include:

  • Providing an overview of the Gap Fund and its role in mobilizing urban climate finance; reporting progress to date.
  • Presenting the Donor perspective on the unique value proposition of the Gap Fund
  • Facilitating a dialogue among existing and potential donors
  • Answering questions that prospective donors and partners may have

For more information


Cities, Climate-Change Science and Innovation: Outcomes from the Innovate4Cities Conference
November 9, 10  – 11:30 a.m. UK time / Side Event at the Multilevel Action Pavilion

Speakers at this session will discuss the recent Innovate4Cities Conference (October 11 – 15, 2021) and its outcomes. The focus: The ways in which science and innovation can drive better implementation & in turn, the ways urban innovation informs science. During the session, participants will connect, exchange learning & ideas, and drive global partnerships at the nexus of science and policy action.

To register:


Early Warnings for Small Island Developing States – Bridging the Capacity Gap by 2030
November 9, 2:15  – 3:45 p.m. UK Time / Green Climate Fund Pavilion

Given ever-increasing extreme weather events, risk-informed early warning and early action saves lives and livelihoods, protects development and resilience gains, and has consistently proved to be cost-effective. Increased finance is critical to help bridge the capacity gap for early warning and action in small island developing states, to strengthen early warning systems, and to accelerate adaptation.

The organizers and co-producers of the event are the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and CREWS (Climate Risk Early Warning Systems), whose implementing partners include the World Bank, supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Relief & Recovery (GFDRR), the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

For more information:


Cities, climate change and MDBs: cooperation, action and delivery
November 11, 12:15–1:15 p.m. UK time / MDB Pavilion

Multilateral Development Banks can drive financial mobilization to support cities' plans as they strive to further the goals of the Paris Agreement. At this side event, we will talk about how multilateral development banks are acting to support meaningful investments for urban decarbonization and resilience. The event will highlight collaboration among MDBs, with the public and private sectors, and with CSOs, to enable transformation in cities. We will also report on the investment and impact goals that each MDB has agreed to deliver for cities.

The World Bank and EBRD are producing this event, in which the ADB, AfDB, AIIB, EIB, IADB, and IFC will also participate.

For more information


The City Climate Finance Gap Fund: Helping cities early on to turn climate plans and pipelines into action
November 11, 5–6 :30 p.m. UK Time / MDB Pavilion & World Bank Live

Leveraging climate finance at the scale and speed needed to address the climate crisis is a key global commitment. Within this, cities and urban systems will be critical for achieving a global green and inclusive transition. The event will present the City Climate Finance Gap Fund, a multilateral partnership involving the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and other partners.

For more information: