For Immediate Release
QUITO, Ecuador - The U.S. Agency for International Development committed more than $2 million Wednesday to help cities finance sustainable infrastructure projects. These projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and withstand the impacts of climate change.
The announcement was made on the sidelines of the U.N. Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development - HABITAT III - in Ecuador. The funds were committed to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which will implement the work with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group through the C40 Cities Finance Facility.
"Cities are facing high rates of unplanned growth and climate change impacts like flooding, storm surges and heat waves," said Carrie Thompson, USAID's Deputy Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment. "They struggle to deliver reliable services, especially to the poorest."
"We are thrilled to partner with a leader like C40 to help cities make critical investments in clean water, efficient transportation and secure housing - without being overcome by climate impacts," she said. "And with partners like GIZ, Germany's Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), we hope our pooled resources will leverage still more investment and really help cities make transformative changes."
Access to financing is one of the key barriers cities face when it comes to turning climate change plans into action. All too often, financing is available, but city officials do not know how to tap the right resources or how best to manage the funds once received. The C40 Cities Finance Facility aims to unlock up to $1 billion for low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure, in large part by helping city officials and institutions develop and finance climate change projects.
The C40 Cities Finance Facility will start with two urban pilot projects, with planned climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits:
- Bogotá, Colombia will build a first-of-its-kind 25-kilometer bicycle highway traversing the city from south to north. The project, known as the Quinto Centenario, will commemorate Bogota's 500th anniversary. It will connect citizens from low, middle and high-income neighborhoods to work, education, and recreation opportunities.
- Mexico City will buy a fleet of at least 100 electric buses and install a Green Bus Corridor on one of its major thoroughfares, Eje 8 Sur. The new 22-kilometer bus lane will serve an estimated 133,400 riders daily, providing connections to four metro lines and one bus line.
More cities and projects will be selected to participate in coming months.
The C40 Cities Finance Facility was launched in 2015, at the UN climate change conference in Paris. It is currently funded by USAID and BMZ, with support from IADB. Technical assistance will be coordinated and delivered by C40 and GIZ.
Last updated: October 19, 2016