Press Release: City of Rio to Host First C40 Event to Unlock Access to City Financing

Rio de Janeiro (16 March, 2016) – Today, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and the City of Rio de Janeiro announced a first-of-its-kind global financing forum to accelerate city climate action. The C40 Financing Sustainable Cities Forum – hosted along with the Citi Foundation and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities – will bring together senior decision-makers from financial institutions, the private sector and more than a dozen city governments from across the globe. The Forum will take place April 5-7 at the City of Rio de Janeiro’s iconic new Museum of Tomorrow.

“In December, the 195 national governments that signed the Paris Agreement knew they could look to mayors in their countries as critical partners in achieving their emissions targets,” said C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes. “Now is the time for us to continue and accelerate the progress we have made – and access to financing is crucial to meeting these commitments. I’m thrilled to welcome C40, the Citi Foundation, and WRI to Rio to make real progress towards the future of city financing. And there is no better backdrop for this meeting than the newly inaugurated Museum of Tomorrow, itself an achievement in sustainable urban architecture.”

The event is part of the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative, an ongoing partnership between C40, the Citi Foundation and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities (WRI) designed to help accelerate and scale up investment in sustainable urban solutions in cities around the world. By drawing on the Citi Foundation’s urban economic progress agenda, the on-the-ground knowledge of WRI and the high-level connection with city leaders of C40, the collaboration is developing new ways to bring together public and private actors for capacity-building, common dialogue and action. 

There is a $4.1 to 4.3 trillion annual investment gap between current urban infrastructure and what cities need to keep up with projected growth. Over the next 15 years, approximately $93 trillion of low-emission and climate-resilient infrastructure will need to be built globally. Creating a global environment that is conducive to investment in sustainable urban projects will require that cities, technical providers and capital providers have common language and a forum. Knowledge of the possible technical, financial and political options as well as a space for innovation is the first step toward financing a transition toward a sustainable urban future.  Forum attendees can expect to walk away with practical steps their cities can take over the next 12-18 months to increase investment in productive, livable and sustainable cities.

“At the core of the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative is a global effort to promote collaboration and action that tackles the world’s toughest challenges and creates opportunities, especially for low-income communities,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi. “We are honored to work with Mayor Paes, C40 and WRI to provide a platform for Forum participants to share their innovative ideas, and also help make their cities vibrant urban centers.”

“We can’t curb the effects of climate change without building, managing and living in our cities differently. But with a $4.1-4.3 trillion gap in urban climate finance, making those changes will require new ways of financing sustainable projects,” said Ani Dasgupta, Global Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. “This forum will help urban leaders find the best ways to finance innovative, city-level solutions to the climate challenge.”

Chief Financial Officers, treasurers and other senior representatives will attend from the city governments of Bogotá, Boston, Curitiba, Durban, Johannesburg, Lima, London, Mexico City, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago and Tshwane. Speakers will include representatives from global financial institutions, ratings agencies, UN agencies, the private sector and senior government officials.

To read the press release in Portuguese, click here.

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