MANILA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched a new initiative to provide direct advisory support to help cities across Asia and the Pacific to meet their climate resilience goals while improving their infrastructure and urban services.
The Creating Investable Cities initiative, unveiled at the World Cities Summit in Singapore, will provide hands-on advisory support and capacity-building resources to 20 cities in Asia and the Pacific in the initial phase. The initiative will support these partner cities in mainstreaming climate resilience into their policies and projects, developing local resources mobilization strategies, and improve their access to private sector finance.
Urbanization is a powerful force in Asia and the Pacific and by 2030 the region will have nearly 200 cities each with more than a million people. Cities are the engines of global growth, generating 80% of GDP worldwide. But they also produce nearly 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and 50% of the waste. With six of the top-10 vulnerable countries of the world located in Asia and the Pacific amid rapid urbanization, its urban poor are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
“Cities are the front lines in the fight against climate change, especially as the world looks to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said ADB Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships Ashok Lavasa. “The Creating Investable Cities initiative provides practical and end-to-end advisory service to policymakers, allowing them to tap directly into ADB’s expertise and finance.”
Collaborations with Makassar, Indonesia; Penang, Malaysia; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia are underway. Each of these cities is seeking leapfrog solutions to help them to decarbonize their electricity grid, green their built environment, improve urban mobility including through electric vehicles, transition to a circular economy, conserve water, and enhance their urban service delivery and asset management through smart and integrated planning and investment.
“Cities cannot continue on a business-as-usual approach if they want to meet their climate targets,” said Director General of ADB’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department Bruno Carrasco. “The CIC initiative will help cities to mainstream climate into their urban policymaking by leveraging ADB’s climate, urban, and governance expertise and by mobilizing partnerships for knowledge transfer and capacity building.”
Before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, ADB estimated that Asia-Pacific needs to raise almost $1.7 trillion per year to close its infrastructure gap, $200 billion of which should come from the private sector.
“COVID-19 highlights the urgency of preparing cities to leverage the private sector’s innovation, efficiency, and finance to close the huge infrastructure gap that prevents cities from reaching their economic potential,” said Head of ADB’s Office of Public-Private Partnership F. Cleo Kawawaki. “Improving cities’ local resource mobilization and financial quality is central to attracting private sector and climate finance for their greener, resilient futures to enhance the quality of life in the cities.”
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.