Recognizing the critical role of cities and regions in climate action, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability jointly developed the concept of the City Bridge Facility. The Facility aims to address the local infrastructure financing gap, particularly in secondary cities of Least Developed Countries, supporting at least 50 local projects over five years.
By providing cities with concessional finance in local currency, this project preparation and investment Facility offers tailored financial instruments and complements existing initiatives like the Transformative Actions Program (TAP).
Gino van Begin, ICLEI Secretary General, emphasized during the COP28 launch, “ICLEI is committed to providing technical support and capacity building, ensuring local voices are included in the identification and development of innovative financial mechanisms.” This commitment aligns with earlier pledges made by ICLEI’s Secretary General as a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Global Commission on SDG Urban Finance.
David Jackson, UNCDF Director of Local Development Finance, highlighted the transformative aspects of the Facility, stating, “This is a city-friendly investment pipeline, acting in alignment with cities’ needs, not banks’ terms. It provides direct access to various financial institutions, fast-tracking potential investments. Lastly, this instrument embodies the cities’ movement, with ICLEI as the focal point of the Local Governments and Municipal Authority (LGMA) Constituency and its other alliances; it captures and drives what is happening in the cities.“
The City Bridge Facility is positioned as a groundbreaking finance mechanism. Its flexible financing approach can attract both public and additional private sector capital, scaling up climate finance aligned with Sustainable Development Goals to meet the needs of Least Developed Countries. The Facility marks a gigantic step towards fostering climate-resilience and is a game-changer for sustainable financing at the local level.
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