Boston New Lead City of C40’s Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network

Chicago’s Early Leadership Helped Set the Stage for Transformative City Collaboration

Today, C40 announced new leadership of its Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network.  Building on the City of Chicago’s leadership since the Network’s launch in 2012, the City of Boston will take up the lead city role with the City of Basel remaining as co-chair.

The Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network is one of C40’s longest-standing and most active networks, with a history of promoting relationship-building, knowledge exchange, and collaboration among C40 cities on the significant and vital challenges of financing sustainable urban infrastructure.

Mark Watts, C40’s Executive Director, said “The challenge of financing sustainable infrastructure is a major barrier to cities’ realising their green ambitions. We thank Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago for their valuable role in establishing and driving forward the C40 Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network, and welcome Boston as the new lead city.  Together, these and other great C40 cities will continue developing solutions to access and deliver the financing necessary to cut carbon emissions and reduce climate risks.”

Under Chicago’s leadership to date, the Network has focused on an agenda including: the development of city green funds, which is also a key priority for Boston; carbon markets, including those found in Tokyo and Shenzhen; green bonds, exemplified by the City of Johannesburg; the launch of a related city creditworthiness academy and network, a major challenge preventing developing country cities from moving forward with their infrastructure plans; and innovative climate finance mechanisms, with support from C40’s technical assistance partners.  The Network has benefited from the City of Basel serving as co–chair, and the support of global partners including the World Bank, Citi, and Global Infrastructure Basel. 

“Nothing is more crucial to our long-term competitiveness and job creation than infrastructure, and I am proud of the progress Chicago and other cities are making in advancing this agenda through the C40 Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network” said Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago.

More recently, the Network has helped city applications for carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market, aided the development of green funds for energy efficiency, supported strategy development for applications to international climate funds. It has also helped cities understand and pursue the opportunities of green bonds.

“As a coastal city, Boston is vulnerable to climate change, and has an immediate need to begin designing, improving and financing our buildings and infrastructure in new ways. Renew Boston Trust is one of the City’s responses to that challenge,” said Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, City of Boston. “Our vision for the C40 Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network is to explore how cities can attract investment that will help improve the bankability and sustainability of building and infrastructure projects."

Boston brings a wealth of innovative and inspiring financing programs, coupled with a desire to learn from and support other C40 cities seeking infrastructure and financing solutions. Moving forward, Boston, Chicago, Basel, and other Network participants will continue to engage in discussions addressing critical urban needs while reducing GHG emissions and climate-related risk.