This report aims to show that project preparation facilities (PPFs) can and should aid in integrating climate action with other, highly synergetic development and cooperation objectives.

When planning and investing in infrastructure projects, innovative cities bundle together a larger set of overarching objectives in the social, economic, environmental, health and governance realms. Integrating multiple benefits in climate infrastructure projects tends to enhance their political and financial/ fiscal viability, scalability, and replicability. Identifying and planning for benefits during early project development stages increase the project’s success, both in delivering positive environment and human-centred impacts, as well as in mobilising political buy-in and connecting with finance.

Looking forward, PPFs are urged to increase their ambition and potential by mainstreaming a benefits approach into project planning. As cities start their long-term post-COVID-19 recovery strategies, the opportunity for promoting wider benefits is particularly significant: already 20.5 trillion dollars have been pledged towards COVID-19 recovery assistance by public and private entities (CCFLA, 2020). However, PPFs and their partners need to be harnessed to realise this potential and mainstream it more widely. In particular, the mapping, classification, and measurement of benefits should be aligned between actors, for example to nudge with downstream development finance institutions. The international community has given the actors a clear mandate for such collaborative harmonisation, inter alia through SDG 17 (partnerships for the goal) and the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. 

Towards this end, the PPF community and their partners are collaborating in creating a standardised approach for integrating and unlocking benefits, as proposed by the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance.