By Andres Albo Marquez, Director of Social Commitment, Citibanamex and Brandee McHale, President, Citi Foundation
Citibanamex was a sponsor of the sixth biennial C40 Mayors Summit, held in Mexico City, November 30-December 2.
More than half of the world’s population lives in cities. By enabling sustainable development, cities are better preparing to face the challenges of urbanization and improve the quality of life of residents. As more people around the world move from rural to urban areas in unprecedented numbers, Citi is expanding its work to help build vibrant, inclusive communities where all citizens can fulfill their potential. The recent C40 Mayors Summit highlighted this effort. Citi joined elected city officials, climate experts and business leaders in Mexico City at C40’s flagship event to strategize and affirm our commitment to sustainability on an international stage.
The Summit took place one year after the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) which produced the Paris Agreement and provided a critical next step for cities looking to take more practical measures to unlock an inclusive, climate-safe future for their residents. Hosted by Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera and led by outgoing C40 Chair Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, the event drew more than 40 mayors and hundreds of leading thinkers from around the world working to advance climate actions in urban environments.
At Citi, we understand the impacts of these issues on our business, clients, stakeholders and the global economy. Our work helps build economically vibrant, inclusive and sustainable cities. Some highlights include:
- In February 2015, Citi announced a global commitment to lend, invest and facilitate a total of $100 billion within the next 10 years to finance activities that reduce the impacts of climate change and create environmental solutions that benefit people and communities. With this $100 billion initiative, Citi is building on its leadership in renewable energy and energy efficiency financing to engage with clients to identify opportunities to finance greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and resource efficiency in other sectors, such as sustainable transportation.
- One of Citibanamex’s strategic priorities is to be a partner to the municipal governments of Mexico’s largest urban centers to enable sustainable development. Working to align their goals with our sustainability commitment, in 2016 Citibanamex led as global coordinator in the structuring and placement of a $2 billion dollar green bond to finance the new Mexico City airport. At issuance, it was the largest ever Latin American infrastructure bond, and one of the largest inaugural issuances in the region. In 2017, for the fourth consecutive year, we will publish the Competitive and Sustainable Cities Index to help promote proven sustainable practices.
- Through a series of grant programs that enable progress, the Citi Foundation supports partnerships among local governments, community-based organizations, the private sector, and research institutions that are tackling the challenges faced by cities to improve municipal effectiveness and infrastructure, promote environmental sustainability, and offer more economic opportunities to low-income residents. For example, the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative, is a partnership between the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the Citi Foundation to provide municipal leaders with technical support to help accelerate the pace of financing positive climate action in cities, such as public transit systems, bike-sharing and energy efficient buildings. And as part of our commitment to enabling urban innovation, the Citi Foundation funded the C40 short film and accompanying booklet “We Live Here Together,” which premiered at the Mayors Summit and featured six global mayors who are championing inspiring climate action efforts.
Cities are the ultimate expression of collaboration. We are proud to have supported the C40 Mayors Summit and its efforts to drive meaningful action on climate change while increasing the health, well-being and future of all urban citizens.