The Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA), together with the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH organized the first Project Preparation Practitioners Forum. The event aimed at gathering practitioners, exchanging experiences and identifying solutions and mechanisms to address the challenges faced by cities and urban regions for preparing climate resilient projects in particular in developing contexts.
The Forum, chaired by Stephen Hammer, Manager of Climate Policy of the World Bank Group, took place on November 14th during the COP 23 in Bonn. It was supported by UN Environment, Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB), ICLEI, C40, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). 39 representatives of organizations from the public and private sector, bi- and multilateral organizations, as well as NGOs and Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) city networks participated in the Forum. This multistakeholder broad representation enabled to dive into the topican intense discussion, which was divided in two sessions, where the participants had the chance to exchange their knowledge, practical experience and concerns in different working groups.
Several issues were highlighted for further discussion, mostly with regard to the challenges that project preparation facilities (PPFs) face. Among the most important, the participants mentioned political risks, insufficient professional and institutional capacities at the local level, the difficulty of involving the private sector, and the lack of integration of projects in comprehensive urban plans. The attendees pointed out that due to its multistakeholder structure, CCFLA could help facilitate the knowledge exchange between stakeholders in these areas and advance to more efficient solutions.
In addition, GIB presented the preliminary results of a study conducted on behalf of the CCFLA on the underlying reasons for the failures and successes of subnational climate PPFs in Latin America and Asia. The report provides key recommendations on the performance of sub-national project preparation support initiatives that include an early involvement of stakeholders, capacity development, integration of environmental, social and governance aspects in their approach, and the promotion of PPFs as potential solutions. These aspects might help reduce the risks and increase the number and quality of subnational climate projects linked to finance under the support of PPFs. The study will be available on the CCFLA website at the beginning of 2018.
At the end of the event, participants expressed their willingness to continue cooperating and exchanging experiences in the framework of the CCFLA in order to jointly respond to the scale of the challenges that subnational climate finance poses. “Each one of us has the responsibility to speak to our institutions and think about how to share information, accelerate the frequency of interaction and the rhythm of our conversations. We have to build a project preparation community that is as responsible, motivated, optimistic and serious as the nature of the challenge”, said Darius Nassiry, Senior Research Associate of the Overseas Development Institute to close the session.
In a joint speech from BMZ and BMUB, Vera Rodenhoff, Head of Division of International Environment and Energy and Urban Development of BMUB affirmed that one of the key lessons learned in the implementation of PPFs has been the importance of collaboration and coordination to increase their effectiveness and efficiency, and to accelerate action at the local level. “It is not necessarily a question of competition, it is a question of working together and identifying the specific areas of expertise and comparative advantages,” said the BMUB official.
The attendees committed to develop a roadmap, which will include the organization of a project preparation forum every year, as well as webinars, and other exchange mechanisms between CCFLA members.
 The CCFLA was launched by UN SG Ban-Ki-Moon at the United Nations Climate Summit in September 2014. It is a coalition of more than forty organizations actively working to catalyze and accelerate investment into low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure in cities and urban areas. The Alliance brings together a diverse group of public and private institutions that do not usually work together. Among its members, the CCFLA includes development banks, city networks, private sector, NGOs, and national governments. It facilitates collaboration that reinforces and expands the impact of members’ own activities to achieve macro-scale solutions for mobilizing investment in low-carbon, climate resilient urban infrastructure.