September 23 - One year after launch, the World Bank Group’s Low Carbon Livable Cities Initiative (LC2) is moving ahead to help cities plan and finance sustainable urban growth. The Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance and other partnerships announced today at the United Nations Climate Summit will enable the Bank to collaborate more closely with partners and expand these efforts to accelerate investment in climate-smart infrastructure.
The Low Carbon Livable Cities Initiative is one way we are helping cities improve climate-smart planning and financial management practices, so they can access the capital they need for urban infrastructure investments,” said Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director, World Bank Group Global Practice for Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience. “The new Alliance and other partnerships will enable us to increase impact, reaching more cities as they work to manage the dual challenge of rapid urbanization and climate change.”
Estimates say that over $1 trillion a year is required to finance infrastructure needs in developing countries over what is being built – even more for low-carbon infrastructure. The need is vast and urgent, but currently, investments are hindered by a lack of critical information, institutional and regulatory constraints, inadequate levels of municipal creditworthiness, and the scarcity of projects with business plans to attract potential investors.
The new Alliance brings together 23 global partners from development agencies, city networks, financial institutions, private sector investors and CSOs including the Bank, UN Habitat, US government, Citibank, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), Japan Investment Cooperation Agency (JICA), and others, to close the investment gap in urban areas over the next 15 years.
Partners will leverage the Alliance to expand the scale and scope of individual efforts and remove obstacles to ensure additional capital flows to cities – particularly from the private sector. To create an environment that encourages private sector investment, the Alliance will explore opportunities through policy and regulatory reforms to create incentives to plan, design, and invest in secure, cost-effective and profitable projects in low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure.
“The Alliance brings the value of collective action to attract investment. The idea is to get the conversation going and connect the full range of actors that need to be involved, sharing knowledge so successful examples can be replicated,” said Stephen Hammer, World Bank lead specialist for cities and climate change. “Assessing the challenges that cities and financial institutions face to mobilize investments, and working with the private sector as well as national and international public financial institutions to scale-up financial products are some of the activities that we need to take on together.”