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Access to climate finance for African cities and territories: Reinforcing the means of action for territories in transition

  • Published on January 14, 2018
Africa is experiencing a rapid urbanisation process. Its population is expected to reach 2.4 billion by 2050 , including 1.34 billion urban people against 455 million in 2014 . All African cities, whether these are large, intermediate, or small, will face enormous demographic, social and economic challenges. These challenges are themselves exacerbated by the impacts of climate change in a particularly vulnerable Region. Many African cities and territories reaffirmed their eager for the design of a capacity building program enhancing their access to climate finance instruments, including the Green Climate Fund (GCF). To address these needs, the Pan-African organization, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and its partners set up a task force and a roadmap to mobilize all stakeholders around this ambition. The aim is to engage intranational authorities to support climate commitments made in Nationally Determined Contributions, while enhancing a low carbon, resilient and solidarity-based development for African cities and territories.
To address the important roadblocks met by African local and regional authorities in accessing climate finance in general and the Green Climate Fund in particular, UCLG Africa defined a roadmap made of complementary actions. The long-term goal is to set up an ecosystem bringing together all relevant actors which will support local and regional authorities' in Africa. This ecosystem must become a space for sharing, training and support, and strengthen the role of African cities in the global transition. A technical assistance program will be put in place for the preparation and formulation of climate projects, associated financials, and management, that meet the criteria of Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV). A successful mobilization of climate finance will require a real change of approach and scale. This collaborative approach will allow to build on the skills acquired in the preparation of applications that meet the standards of financial institutions and quality and sustainability requirements. Ultimately, these skills may be used in other areas and will benefit urban policies in general. In addition, by encouraging networking and seeking of synergies between different initiatives, this new approach will enable African cities to scale up their climate-compatible actions, while contributing to the realization of the Nationally Determined Contributions at national levels. To this end, UCLG Africa is setting a Task Force whose program of action will be divided into several parts: • Launch of UCLG Africa' Members survey to assess their level of knowledge on climate policies, and climate finance in general, in order to determine the action to be implemented so that UCLG Africa's members can play a positive role in the Climate Agenda and access climate finance; • Drawing up an inventory for the involvement of African actors in international coalitions: this mapping will allow the identification of relevant African stakeholders (local authorities, academia and research, private sector, foundations, civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations, etc.) and to mobilize them when needed, taking advantage of these multi-actor dynamics; • Bringing key players in through a call for expressions of interest in order to invite local authorities of Africa and all stakeholders involved to come together within a big coalition, and strengthen African cities' capacities to access climate finance. This coalition will enable the structuration and coordination of major stakeholders' work with Africa's local and regional authorities; • Facilitating access to climate finance, including to the Green Climate Fund, either by requesting the accreditation of UCLG Africa to the GCF or by working with specialized agencies already accredited or in the process of being accredited; • Implementing appropriate technical assistance close to the needs and contexts of African cities, to support them over time, and in the submission of bankable projects.

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