Major Investors Meet in Joburg to Mobilize Capital for Climate-Smart Infrastructure in African Cities

(Johannesburg, 20 November) – Major public and private investors and international experts on climate finance are gathering in Johannesburg for two days to recommend innovative ways to mobilize investment in low-emission, climate-proof infrastructure in African cities.

A select group of investors, including from banking associations, pension funds, financial institutions and corporations, is meeting on 23-24 November at Turbine Hall in Newton, Johannesburg. The event is organized by the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance, in collaboration with the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General.

A similar event for the Asia-­‐Pacific region will take place in Bangkok later in the week. The recommendations forged by the two investor meetings– “The Bangkok-­‐Johannesburg Blueprint” – will be presented at the UN climate summit that convenes in Paris at the end of November.

“If we get African urban, transport and energy infrastructure right, then that’s a huge boost to global development in this century. Africa is where a fundamental growth story with planet-­‐wide implications is unfolding, and the continent needs the cities and connectivity to support that, “said Paul Clements-­‐Hunt, CEO of The Blended Capital Group and Special Advisor, to the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA), aninitiative launched in September 2014 by UN Secretary-­‐General Ban Ki-­‐moon.

Potential impact

Climate action in cities has the potential for global impact, as urban areas account for over 70% of energy-­‐related CO2 emissions, and the world’s cities produce almost half of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Urban areas are, today, home to half the world’s population, a proportion expected to rise to two-­‐thirds or more by 2050. As the world rapidly urbanizes, its cities’ infrastructure – the built environment that houses, feeds,
transports and provides energy for people– will determine the climate future.

“Globally, the potential market for investments in low-­‐carbon and climate-­‐resilient urban infrastructure is immense and growing, as urban populations continue to increase and new cities are built in emerging markets,” explained Clements-­‐Hunt, who organized the investor event on behalf of the Alliance. “We want to capitalize on this market and strategize ways to reduce risk and red tape, and spur investment.”

“The savings of hundreds of millions of pensioners worldwide needs safe, productive investments that yield reasonable returns over many decades,” added Clements-­‐Hunt. “If we get African infrastructure right, and that includes fair and equitable pricing for the communities that use it, then this becomes an attractive investment for the largest asset
owners and one that protects long-­‐term investment wealth and the communities that benefit from smart, fit for purpose infrastructure.”

New approaches and commitments

Investors and other participants will seek practical, pragmatic and break-­‐through financing approaches that accelerate the allocation of long-­‐term investment by the world’s largest asset owners—pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance reserves—into the emerging, low carbon infrastructure asset class. They will examine proven approaches and financial instruments that have worked to mobilize investment for low-­‐carbon and climate-­‐resilient infrastructure in cities and regions across sub-­‐Saharan Africa. They will also aim to identify potential pipelines of investments that could operate through a new Subnational Climate Finance Facility that is expected to be announced in Paris, as well as new commitments on city and regional climate finance that could be announced there.

The investor talks are taking place in the spirit of the Lima-­‐Paris Action Agenda, forged by the Governments of France and Peru with the UN, to mobilize individuals, communities and institutions, below the national government level, to commit to tackling climate change. Scores of initiatives and commitments for climate action in cities, agriculture, forests, transport and other sectors have been launched, and many new announcements are expected at the Paris climate summit (see http://climateaction.unfccc.int/aboutlpaa.aspx)

About the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance

The Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA) was established in September 2014 at the UN Secretary-­‐General’s Climate Summit. Its aim is to catalyze and accelerate additional capital flows to cities, maximize investment in low-­‐carbon and climate-­‐resilient infrastructure, and close the investment gap in urban areas over the next fifteen years. It now has over 40 member organizations, including public and private financial institutions, governments and organizations of local leaders, and non-­‐governmental organizations. (See
http://newsroom.unfccc.int/lpaa/cities-­‐subnationals/the-­‐cities-­‐climate-­‐finance-­‐leadership-­‐alliance-­‐ccfla/

Follow @CitiesClimFin and facebook.com/CitiesClimateFinance

Media Contacts:
In Joburg: Maureen Nkandu, UNInformation Centre Pretoria, email: nkandu@un.org,
Tel: (+27) 82 313 0051 or (+27) 12 354 8504 |
Michael Marais, email: mm@blendedcapital.com, tel: (+41) 789 647760
Dominic Wilhelm,email: dominic@qonda.co, tel: (+27) 82 338 7025
In New York: Pragati Pascale, email: pascale@un.org, tel +1-­‐917-­‐744-­‐2114

“Paris must provide a comprehensive, long-­‐term vision of the opportunities created by low-­‐emission, climate-­‐resilient development. The agreement must send a clear signal to the private sector that the low-­‐carbon transformation of the global economy is inevitable, beneficial, and already under way…” United Nations Secretary-­‐General Ban Ki-­‐moon, 4 November 2015