Climate Investment Opportunities in Cities - An IFC Analysis

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November 2018
Source: 
International Finance Corporation (IFC)

More than half of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, a number expected to reach 70 percent by 2050. With 60 percent of the area expected to be urban by 2030 remaining to be built, climate considerations should play a major role in urban planning decisions taken now, and infrastructure projects commissioned for the upcoming decades. The success or failure of cities at addressing climate change will be pivotal to efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

As cities work to meet the needs of their residents, they can leapfrog historical approaches to urbanization – which creates significant opportunities for climate investment. The report finds that cities in emerging markets around the globe have the potential to attract more than $29.4 trillion in cumulative climate-related investments in six key sectors by 2030.

The report provides investment potential estimates across six key sectors (waste, renewable energy, public transportation, water, electric vehicles, and green buildings).

Sector-specific investment potentials are estimated at the global and regional levels. The report also addresses urban resilience, financing solutions, and includes six deep dives into specific cities – one from each region – representing various sizes and stages of development:

Key messages include:

  • Cities in emerging markets around the globe have the opportunity to attract more than $29.4 trillion in cumulative climate-related investments in six key sectors by 2030.  
  • Sixty percent of the area expected to be urban globally by 2050 remains to be built. These cities can leapfrog historical approaches to urbanization, instead diverting scarce resources to low-carbon, resilient, efficient, and climate-smart investments.  
  • There has been a groundswell in urban climate commitments since the Paris Agreement – but cities need help making them a reality. Initiatives like Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), Global Covenant of Mayors, 100 Resilient Cities, C40 Cities, and CDP provide the planning and strategic support vital to ensuring that targets are achieved.  
  • City budgets alone can’t finance climate investment at the required scale, but growing interest from the #privatesector and use of PPPs, green bonds, land value capture, & collaborative partnerships narrow the gap  
  • The private sector can play a central role in supporting cities through a combination of innovation, know-how, financing, and new service delivery models. 
Themes: 
Investment