Scaling up climate finance for African cities is key to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement, says EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle at the UN Climate Summit in New York
22 September 2019
On the margins of the UN Secretary General Climate Summit in New York, EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle participated in the high-level side event entitled “Towards territorializing climate finance in Africa”, organised by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and the West African Development Bank.
Alongside representatives of the World Bank, African Development Bank, West African Development Bank, NDC Partnership and FAO, EIB Vice-President Fayolle discussedhow the climate finance community could increase financing of climate projects needed by African cities and governmentsto implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
At the heart of the Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) represent the efforts made by each country to reduce national emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Each Party commits to develop, implement and communicate its NDCs and corresponding domestic mitigation measures.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle highlighted the rapid urbanisation and vulnerability to climate change of Sub-Saharan Africa and stressed the financing gap faced by cities in the region to upgrade and build sustainable urban infrastructure.
“Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa need USD 93 billion annually for their infrastructure. Budgetary constraints, lack of access to traditional debt financing and insufficient planning are some of the obstacles preventing cities to get private sector’s support for investment in urban infrastructure. International Financial Institutions and other public investors have an important role to play. The EIB has a solid record supporting climate action and urban development through technical assistance and a variety of financial products, and is ready to step-up its efforts. However to meet the increasing demand for quality infrastructure in Africa, we need more co-financing and reinforced partnerships, with the European Union, local intermediaries, agencies as well as with other financial institutions. This huge challenge requires the involvement of all”, Ambroise Fayolle said.
He added “we are well aware of the challenge facing cities in Africa to mobilise investment. The key is to exchange and we must find solutions together.”
Vice-President Fayolle highlighted a waste management project in Cotonou, Benin, a project submitted and currently under consideration for EIB support through the Global Climate City Challenge, a partnership with the GLobal Covenant of Mayors where more than 100 municipal and local authorities presented over 140 projects to receive technical assistance and financing from the EIB.
Organised by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank in cooperation with Project Syndicate, the event put EU climate leadership in the spotlight. It brought together international climate leaders and policy experts on how global climate action, climate policy, international cooperation, and financial innovation can be accelerated and enhanced for an adequate response to the climate emergency.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reshaped the global economic environment and financial priorities. For development finance, the crisis has created a need for more fluid mobilization of resources while keeping sight of long-term climate and sustainability goals.