Report: Demand for climate infrastructure investment is rising

This is according to CDP’s Global Snapshot, which is based on the environmental data provided by more than 1,000 cities through CDP’s climate disclosure system, in collaboration with Urban sustainability network ICLEI.

According to the report, approximately 2,346 climate-related infrastructure projects, valued at $146bn, are underway across 636 cities in 86 countries.

These projects are seeking $65bn in investments to reach fruition.

However, the CDP notes that these figures are conservative estimates of the real state of global climate finance needs.

These numbers also signify a considerable surge in financial need, marked by a 52% uptick in the quantity of projects documented within the CDP-ICLEI Track in 2021.

The key sectors driving these projects include buildings and energy efficiency, transport, waste management, renewable energy and water management.

CDP’s global director of cities, states and regions Maia Kutner said: “Sustainable and resilient infrastructure is the cornerstone of tangible climate action.

“As the world gathers for COP28, our new data shows there is a golden opportunity for national governments, the private sector and financial institutions across the globe to turbocharge their support to cities and invest in this mission critical infrastructure, particularly in the Global South.”

Climate-related projects actively seek funding

Nearly half of the reported projects, at 45%, belong to the Global South, with waste and water management dominating the regional landscape.

Moreover, 83% of the reported projects are actively seeking financing, with 34% aiming for full funding or additional support beyond secured funds.

Nearly half (48%) of the projects are in the preliminary stages of development, highlighting the critical need for technical aid in project preparation and financial aggregation, especially as 40% of reported project costs fall below $500,000.

While 63% of the projects are geared towards climate mitigation, focusing on reducing city-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, approximately 31% prioritise enhancing urban adaptation and resilience to climate change.

Call to action

CDP is urging for a call to action, emphasising the urgency of aligning emissions reduction with the Paris Agreement, and necessitating annual investments amounting to $5.4trn by 2030 in sustainable and resilient urban infrastructure.

The report emphasises the need for an enhanced environmental data disclosure by cities to grasp risks, opportunities and impacts, coupled with increased transparency and accountability for projects seeking funding.

CDP suggests three key actions to bridge the funding gap including the involvement of subnational Governments in national climate commitments, active support from the private sector in facilitating investment and developed countries meeting their $100bn annual commitment to aid developing nations.

Kutner added: “We hope this call to ramp up city climate finance will also drive more cities to report their environmental data in a transparent way. This will encourage the investment they need to take meaningful action and create sustainable urban areas for all.”

Earlier this year, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) urged the UK Government to leverage up to £10bn for investment in climate adaptation each year.

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