Half of the world’s population and a large share of its economic activity are now concentrated in cities, which largely contribute to climate change with nearly 50% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Because of their locations, often in coastal areas or along rivers, cities are exposed to rising water levels and extreme weather events ; making them particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
With their skills in the fields of real estate, urbanism, transportation, economic and social inclusion, as well as resource and waste management, cities have a crucial role to play in reducing GHG emissions. In terms of adaptation, it is estimated that 50 to 80% of the measures needed are being or are going to be implemented at the local scale : cities are therefore key players in climate change resilience.
Their role has been reinforced since the UN’s COP21 Climate Change Conference and its “agenda of solutions”. For their public urban policies to be compatible with the fight against climate change, and to define development and planning trajectories that entail lower levels of emissions, cities are now drawing up territorial climate strategies with the support of many development partners (networks of cities, foundations and financial institutions).
The operational implementation of these climate strategies in terms of concrete investments requires time, resources, and strong political support. Financing for this prefeasibility or feasibility study phase is often the missing link. In other cases, interesting projects emerge, but they do not arise from any structured climate strategy and therefore require suitable support not only during the preparatory phase, but as the project is being implemented, to ensure the maximum climate co-benefits.
In order to respond to these needs and support the climate and city momentum, AFD has launched regional support programs for local authorities to:
- implement territorial strategies that include climate challenges
- finance adequate technical support for carrying out pre-investment studies for climate co-benefits projects in cities
- provide support for these projects through technical assistance during the studies or at the beginning of the project implementation
CICLIA is one of these programs for sub-Saharan Africa.