The Green Climate Fund (GCF) took a major step forward today to help make redesigned cities drivers of climate action with the signing of an agreement with funding partner EBRD.
Cities have a vital role in achieving the Paris Agreement to keep temperature rises below 2C with a goal to limit warming below 1.5C as they account for 70 percent of global energy use and 75 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) signed by GCF and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London releases Euro 87 million of GCF funds to the Green Cities Facility programme. This follows GCF Board approval of the programme at its 21st meeting in Bahrain at the end of last year.
GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec said the signing of the FAA is particularly important as the potential to take paradigm-shifting climate action in the world’s cities is immense. “The world is urbanising quickly, with 55 percent of people now living in cities,” he said. “Much of the future growth of cities is expected to occur in developing countries. So we need to ensure these rapidly expanding metropolises are built with climate resilient and low-emission infrastructure.”
Mr Glemarec added the Green Cities Facility programme is a sign of how enhanced GCF-EBRD cooperation can create new economies of scale to broaden climate action in many parts of the planet.
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said the GCF–EBRD partnership for transformation has gone from strength to strength. “To date, GCF has supported six EBRD programmes with USD 830 million, catalysing more than USD 3.6 billion in project value,” he added. “Our partnership covers broad geographies and sustainability aspects, as well as mitigation and adaptation - from sustainable irrigation in Morocco, to renewables in Egypt, to green economy credit lines and green cities across our countries of operations.”
The Green Cities Facility programme aims to catalyse investments in 11 cities and nine countries. They are Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Jordan, Tunisia, Mongolia, Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia. The initiative will support direct investments in at least 20 low-carbon energy efficient and climate resilient infrastructure projects.
Green cities are set to make a major dent in rising emissions as their climate-resilient infrastructure is designed to be energy efficient, reduce a reliance on non-renewable energy sources, encourage waste reduction and management, and utilise low-carbon transport.
The FAA agreement was signed at EBRD’s headquarters by Jerry Velasquez, Director of GCF's Mitigation and Adaptation Division, and Camilla Otto, EBRD’s Director of Donor Co-Financing.