Honourable Presidents, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Although I cannot join you in person, I am delighted to provide this message for the “COP of Cities.”
More than two-thirds of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2050 and Africa maintains the fastest rate of urban growth in the world. 85% per cent of municipalities, mostly the most vulnerable populations, are experiencing extreme climate effects, including severe temperatures and sea-level rise. Without adequate climate investments over the next decade, the impact of warming above 1.5°C will only exacerbate these effects.
As the world’s largest climate fund, GCF is mandated to promote a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient pathways. To catalyze much-needed private-sector financial flows and create new green markets, GCF uses a four pronged approach.
First, we create an enabling environment for climate action by promoting integrated strategies, planning and policymaking. Second, we accelerate innovation through investments in new technologies, business models, financial instruments, and practices. Next, we de-risk projects that otherwise would not be seen as bankable investments in order to establish a commercial track record for new climate solutions. And finally, we align finance with sustainable development by empowering domestic financial institutions in developing countries to appraise and finance these commercially proven new climate solutions.
In relation to cities, we use this approach to catalyze innovation and investment in four areas of action:
- decarbonizing urban energy systems;
- creating greater energy efficiency and climate resilience in building stocks;
- promoting resilient urban development;
- enabling circular urban economies.
Together, this approach can help a transition to more sustainable cities. One example of how GCF is investing in these areas is through our Green Cities Facility, undertaken with our partner EBRD. GCF is investing USD 99 million to create a Facility to help address cities’ climate change challenges while building the market case for private sector investments in sustainable infrastructure. 10 cities that are facing a range of environmental and social issues will participate in the programme, which will provide concessional financial instruments that will allow ambitious investments in climate-resilient urban infrastructure such as district heating/cooling, low-carbon buildings, and solid waste management.
Through investments like this, we can scale up public and private investment in climate change adaptation and mitigation, helping cities to create the Green Cities that we need. Thank you.