A scenario of the future – cities have a key role to play in climate change

Cities are facing major challenges – two thirds of all people worldwide will live in cities in 2050. Creative solutions for industry, society and the environment are required.

Cities are responsible for over 70% of global CO2 emissions. The majority of urban centres are located near the coast, so they are directly affected by the negative consequences of climate change. At the same time, however, industries and the populations in urban areas are growing rapidly. This is why sustainable development and effective climate protection can only happen in cities and through working together with them. They are faced with the two-fold problem of how to cope with this responsibility and how to make urban development sustainable. Growing demands for sustainable infrastructure and increasingly tight municipal budgets also require alternative financing options.

Building financial bridges for cities
This is where the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) initiative comes in. The CFF is a cooperation between the international association of cities C40 and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the CFF was founded during the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris and currently supports 20 climate change mitigation projects in seventeen cities around the globe. It builds bridges between cities and investors and focuses on knowledge and learning opportunities for city administrations, enabling them to develop suitable financing instruments and plan climate-friendly infrastructure projects. The experiences are then shared with municipalities worldwide through the association of cities. 

25 kilometres of high-speed cycleways 
The initial successes have already been achieved, including a 25 kilometre-long high-speed cycleway to be constructed in Bogotá, the Colombian capital, from 2021. By 2050, the cycleway will have reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 182,000 tonnes. A recent study on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global development of cities and mobility shows that the need for such measures is great: Almost 90% of respondents want cities to invest more in cycleways and pedestrian walkways. Walking, cycling and public transport will be the three most important means of transport in the future. 

CFF receives the UN Global Climate Action Award
The CFF has now also received recognition from the United Nations for its achievements. On 27 October, the winners of the UN Global Climate Action Awards 2020 were announced – and the CFF won the award, which recognises the most innovative global measures to combat climate change, in the ‘Financing climate-friendly investments’ category.

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