The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will double the finance for its Green Cities urban sustainability programme, adding €950m to extend work over the next three years.
Set up in 2016 with investments of €250m, with a further €700m of EBRD funds in 2018, the EBRD Green Cities programme has mobilised significant co-finance. This includes €87m from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for concessional funding, as well as technical cooperation from the GCF and several bilateral donors.
With the new funding, more than €2bn will be dedicated to supporting EBRD Green Cities. The successful programme has already grown to include 43 cities, and aims to expand to 100 by 2024.
The programme recognises that addressing climate change and environmental degradation is urgent. Cities worldwide are the source of at least three-quarters of emissions, making them a vital starting-point in tackling climate change.
The EBRD Green Cities programme offers tangible support to help cities address their environmental issues and improve the quality of life of their residents. All participating cities embark on the programme through a trigger project to improve their local environment.
Following this starting point, the cities commence work on a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) with EBRD help. This is aimed at creating a tailor-made list of further environmental investments and policy actions most suitable to address their environmental challenges.
The programme also makes a major contribution to tackling climate change, aiming to achieve the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperature rises below 2C, and preferably below the more ambitious target of 1.5C. Put together, this could be achieved if the world has net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
To achieve this, emissions from buildings must be significantly reduced, alongside increasing the efficiency of transport, and shifting electricity supply to predominantly renewable sources. Investment in urban infrastructure is the key to making this possible.
The November 2020 funding extension of EBRD Green Cities is available to all eligible cities across the EBRD regions. The programme will continue to focus on improvements to the core urban sectors of: urban transport; water and waste water; solid waste management; district energy; street lighting; and low-carbon and climate-resilient buildings.
Using an updated GCAP methodology, it will also focus more on nature-based solutions, more effective integration of climate resilience and adaptation criteria, renewables, gender and inclusion work, smart technology solutions and urban regeneration.