Gap Fund supports climate action projects in Indian cities


New Delhi, Sep 24 : The City Climate Finance Gap Fund (the Gap Fund) has approved technical assistance for 33 cities since its operational launch in September 2020, filling a critical gap in technical assistance funding to help cities turn their climate ambitions into finance-ready projects. Marking its one-year operational launch anniversary on Thursday, the Gap Fund has received more than 140 expressions of interests and approved technical assistance for 33 cities in India, Mexico, Ethiopia, Morocco, Congo, Panama, Senegal, Vietnam, Kosovo, Montenegro, Ecuador, South Africa, Vanuatu, Colombia, Indonesia, Brazil, Guatemala, Uganda and Ukraine. An additional 30 cities are currently undergoing a detailed assessment for potential Gap Fund support, with a total target of at least 180 cities. In India, the Gap Fund's grant activities in Mangalore and Kolar cities are to prepare a climate diagnostic report for solid waste management as well as an action plan for improving and financing low-carbon solid waste management services, including a pre-feasibility study. The Gap Fund is currently capitalised at 55 million euros, with a target of at least 100 million euros and the potential to unlock an estimated 4 billion euros in investments. The aim is to help cities understand their exposure to climate challenges, develop plans and strategies to reduce emissions and vulnerability to climate risks, and identify and prioritise climate-smart urban infrastructure investments. European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Ambroise Fayolle commented: "Cities must implement ambitious climate projects to adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce their emissions and improve the quality of life for their residents. "One of the key barriers to get bankable projects off the ground is in the early preparation stages. That's where the Gap Fund helps and supports developers with the assistance they need. As the EU Climate Bank, the Gap Fund is one of our flagship initiatives that shows how, together with our partners, we can make a real difference for local communities around the world. "I congratulate all cities and partners who helped setting up the fund and made its first year a success." Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors, said, "As cities rebuild from a devastating pandemic and the impacts of climate change, there are smart investments they can make right away -- if they have the right support. The Gap Fund is a vital resource for cities, as they implement projects that fight the climate crisis while creating jobs and building healthier and more equitable communities." Sameh Wahba, Global Director for the World Bank's Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, added: "The evidence just keeps mounting to show that cities are on the frontlines of the global climate agenda. And now, we have an opportunity to take concerted, lasting action to support cities with their plans to make climate-smart investments and choices that can result in a sustainable and healthy future for generations to come." The Gap Fund demonstrates a unique collaborative model -- with funding from Germany and Luxembourg. It is co-implemented by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit and works directly with city groups and networks, including C40. /IANS


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