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World Bank to Help Cities Boost Efficiency for Improved Services, Cost Savings, Reduced Emissions

November 19, 2013

Three-Year Initiative to Integrate Energy Efficiency into City Planning

BARCELONA, Spain, November 19, 2013 – The World Bank has announced a new initiative to help cities in developing countries integrate energy efficiency into their strategic planning and operations, in order to improve public services, lessen pressure on municipal budgets, and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The City Energy Efficiency Transformation Initiative (CEETI) will work with city governments to facilitate promising energy efficiency investments, match cities with sources of financing, and build the capacity of officials to get projects off the ground.  The initial three-year phase of the initiative, led by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), will work with up to 50 cities to achieve substantial cost and energy savings through efficiency projects.

“Energy efficiency will be critical to the competitiveness of cities as well as to their economic profile,” said Rachel Kyte, Vice President of the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network.Finding ways to achieve efficiency in transport, energy and real estate will make cities cleaner and more livable and will help attract jobs and investment.”

CEETI was announced at CitiSense, a World Bank event on urban innovation targeted to senior city representatives that was held in conjunction with the Barcelona Smart City Expo World Congress. 

In its first year, CEETI will offer hands-on training for city officials on how to identify opportunities, create energy efficiency plans, and finance and implement programs.  The latter part of the initiative will focus on helping cities develop investment plans, and match them with sources of financing.  These activities will be paired with knowledge sharing between cities that have successfully implemented energy efficiency programs, and cities that are just getting started.

The $9 million initiative is a joint effort of ESMAP, working in collaboration with the World Bank’s Information and Communication Technologies Unit (ICT) and the World Bank Institute (WBI).

The new initiative builds on three years of World Bank engagement with cities on energy efficiency using the Tool for Rapid Assessment of City Energy, or TRACE.  TRACE has been deployed in 27 cities such as Belo Horizonte, Nairobi, Surabaya, and Colombo. In Gaziantep, Turkey, the TRACE assessment found more than $50 million in potential annual savings through measures including improvements at municipal water plants and expansion of the public transportation network.  

ESMAP's initiative is part of a broader World Bank effort to support cities to plan and finance sustainable urban development, which also includes the Low Carbon and Livable Cities (LC2) initiative. LC2 offers a comprehensive package of support that targets climate-smart urban development, and can help cities tap their full emissions reduction potential. 

Working together, these World Bank programs offer a full range of solutions for clients.  For example, in Rio de Janeiro, TRACE was used to identify two potential energy efficiency investments: efficient street lighting using LEDs and energy efficiency retrofits to municipal buildings, such as schools and hospitals. Going forward, CEETI will provide technical assistance for the implementation of the energy efficiency portfolio under Rio’s Low-Carbon City Development Program.

"The World Bank is committed to a solutions partnership that will play a catalytic role in reducing poverty and building shared prosperity in cities,” said Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President for Change, Knowledge, and Learning“Through initiatives such as CEETI and LC2, the World Bank can offer cities a full set of tools and capacity development that help them with their immediate needs as well as long term planning, and that are tailored to their specific needs and conditions.” 

ESMAP is a global knowledge and technical assistance program administered by the World Bank that helps low- and middle-income countries achieve sustainable energy solutions for poverty reduction and economic growth. ESMAP is funded by Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, as well as the World Bank.

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