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EBRD and global cities group scale up green urban financing

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has teamed up with a leading group of mayors from around the world to speed up and increase the delivery of finance and support for climate action across dozens of cities. The Green Cities Climate Finance Accelerator launched together with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) aims to support city climate projects worth US$1.5 billion.

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of EBRD – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (photo courtesy EBRD).

At the One Planet climate summit in Paris, France today, EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti unveiled the Green Cities Climate Finance Accelerator, launched together with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM). The GCoM is an international alliance of close to 7 500 cities and local governments united in their goal of promoting action to combat climate change and the move towards a low-emission and climate-resilient society.

Under the new partnership, the EBRD and the GCoM are seeking to drive climate action in up to 60 cities, including many that have not been a focus for climate support so far. The EBRD will provide over US$500 million in “first mover” financing aimed at leveraging additional third-party contributions for the development and implementation of city action plans and projects worth a total of US$1.5 billion.

The initiative was launched in the presence of European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, who co-chairs the GCoM with Michael Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, at an event hosted by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Speaking at the launch in Paris, EBRD President Chakrabarti said that, in order to achieve results in climate action in cities, “the EBRD will bring its deep and specific expertise in working with cities and financing their projects.”

President Chakrabarti also made it clear that this new initiative can be applied broadly across different geographies. “The structure and specific targets of this financing accelerator provide a working operational model which can be replicated with other financial institutions across regions of the world and built-up to a global scale,” he said.

The EBRD’s specific business model for green cities involves direct engagement with local governments and local utilities and seeks wherever possible to engage the private sector in infrastructure financing and operations.

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