Cities around the world are responsible for two-thirds of the world’s GHG emissions and 70 percent of energy consumption. Therefore, the implementation of the Paris climate agreement in full force should begin with a focus on the cities. National and local governments can develop climate action plans and create a transparent system to monitor how the cities are performing.
The World Bank invests more than $5 billion a year to help cities around the globe. According to Steve Hammer, climate change specialist for the World Bank, cities need additional tools and support to put them on a sustainable, resilient, low-carbon path. At COP 22, the Bank highlighted three of its newest tools to help cities meet climate challenges.
Identifying obstacles and encouraging investment
Unless there is significant investment to make cities more resilient, natural disasters may cost cities worldwide $314 billion a year and climate change may push up to 77 million more urban residents into poverty. The World Bank is taking several key steps to help cities promote urban resilience investment:
• Pre-development grant financing and technical assistance for project preparation
• Advisory services to conceptualize, structure and finance investor-ready projects
• Analysis to include hazard and risk considerations in project design and delivery
• Technical Assistance to improve cities’ investment climate, regulatory environment, and city creditworthiness
City specific, data-driven planning
The World Bank along with C40 Cities and the Compact of Mayors, and other partners, has developed CURB: Climate Action Tool for Urban Sustainability, which gives cities the information necessary to make climate-smart investments, relying on city-specific data. Using CURB, city officials can:
• Explore an array of climate-smart options, from more efficient transport systems to retrofitted buildings
• Define what goals are realistic
• Simulate technology and policy changes to assess the best course of action
• Analyze project financials to determine cost savings and returns on investment
Strong, resilient cities
Cities depend on a complex network of infrastructure, institutions and information. The World Bank’s CityStrength diagnostic tool can evaluate the resilience of a city holistically, identifying the main risks across priority sectors such as urban development, infrastructure, disaster risk management, and social protection. The CityStrength Diagnostic tool helps cities:
• Identify and prioritize investment and actions for increased resilience
• Engage with multiple stakeholders, including local and national government officials, civil society and the private sector
• Encourage learning and provide access to best practices
The tool has already been implemented in Can Tho, Vietnam; in Addis Ababa and 10 regional capitals in Ethiopia; and across 16 municipalities in the Greater Accra Area in Ghana.
Source: World Bank
Image Credit: World Bank