Show Me (How to Get) the Money: ICLEI’s Daring Cities Forum Spotlights Climate Emergency Finance

Since its inception in 2020, ICLEI’s Daring Cities Forum has focused on catalyzing and accelerating local climate action. And with well over 2,000 jurisdictions from around the world having officially declared a climate emergency, there’s certainly no shortage of projects cities are trying to launch that are linked to the overarching goals of curbing global warming and creating more resilient communities.

Contrary to popular belief, Eszter Mogyorósy, Head of Innovative Finance at the ICLEI World Secretariat, says projects are not being held up “because the funds are not available, but because the funds are not accessible… especially for the Global South. ”

Inaccessible, she says, due to a combination of a lack of local technical expertise and the current financial system, which she describes as “just so slow…and.” Not in contingency mode.” So much so that she says it can take 12-18 months to access the expertise needed to conduct a technical study or map out a business model… “so not even an investment in the project … but only the necessary technical support” to assess the value and feasibility of a project.

In line with Daring Cities modus operandi Speaking of accelerating the response to climate emergencies, Mogyorósy says the focus of this year’s virtual conference will be on finance “and what kind of systemic changes we need to speed things up… what kind of tools do we need to bring in and what modalities might there be.” not be considered at the moment.”

The high-level session entitled. “Close the Gap: Innovative Finance for Urban Transformation” on Thursday 6 October will address these challenges head-on and, as Mogyorósy says, will serve to “start a discussion about what it means to finance the climate emergency and how it differs from a regular business model for funding” as well as “what could and should be done in terms of the amount and speed of funding available. So it will really be a call to action to put the funding on an accelerated mode.”

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Related Articles: Brave Cities: Empowering Local Leaders to Fight Climate Change | The Daring Cities Forum 2021 concludes with a roadmap for more urban climate action

As with many sessions of the conference, multiple perspectives will be brought to the table. Specifically for “Close the Gap”, panellists from the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the UN Capital Development Fund and in the spirit of ensuring local level representation, someone from the city of Makati will be present as Mogyorósy stressed: “It is one of the leading cities in the Philippines. It is a financial center and a well-developed city.”

Yunus Arikan, ICLEI Director of Global Advocacy, cites Makati and the city of Monterrey, Mexico, as two prime examples of “pioneering local governments” that are already helping to advance the fight against climate change at the local level and are actively involved in workshops, which focus on scale-up of actions through the implementation of various financial instruments.

Monterrey, a major economic hub, was hit hard by a cruel drought and has responded boldly by setting a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Just as Africa has been a focus of recent Daring Cities, much of the attention this year will focus on the challenges and opportunities on the ground in Central and South America.

“We’re very excited to see some new faces,” notes Arikan. “Latin America has undergone some major changes and one of them is the new President of Colombia (Gustavo Petro), the former mayor of Bogotá and previously an active member of ICLEI’s global committee.”

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Petro is an urban leader who clearly “understands” climate change, with an agenda that includes exploring new and innovative ways to protect the Amazon rainforest, including a debt-for-nature swap that sees developing countries like Colombia pay in return their debt would be reduced or forgiven for pledges to fund green projects.

While Petro will not be attending Daring Cities, Arikan says ICLEI is confident that Colombia’s new environment minister, Susana Muhamad, will participate in some of the intergovernmental discussions planned to address the current climate emergency.

Despite the heavy focus on finance, ICLEI’s Mogyorósy emphasizes that virtually all sessions are practical and conducted in lay language, more focused on process and strategy than actual number crunching, and “more with a fireside chat” than a formal feel to them. And judging by the speaker lineup, there will be a unique mix of multi-tiered public and private input, with sessions geared towards a variety of interests depending on what hot buttons you have.

Mogyorósy says she’s looking forward to the opening day session on digital finance solutions the most, “because most of the countries in the Global South that we work with don’t necessarily have all the infrastructure back that you would need for digital finance solutions… that’s going to happen.” it’s a great lesson.”

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Registration for the Daring Cities 2022 forum is now open at daringcities.org/register. To view the full program, click here


Editor’s note: The opinions of the authors expressed here are their own and not those of Impakter.comIn the post photo: ICLEI Daring Cities 2022 Forum Banner. Featured Photo Credit: ICLEI.

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