Asian Cities Emphasize Climate Focus in Capital Investment Planning

World Bank15 May 2014: Representatives of Asian cities met at the second Seoul Creditworthiness Academy workshop to discuss ways to improve municipal finances and access to capital to achieve low-carbon development, and the need for a “climate lens” in developing capital investment plans. Participants included 39 mayors, city officials and technical experts representing 15 cities and provinces from 12 countries across Asia.

The workshop, which convened in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 21-26 April 2014, helped officials from subnational governments and public enterprises to develop an action plan to improve their creditworthiness and access to finance for climate-related infrastructure. A broader City Creditworthiness Program will assist cities in implementing the action plan.

During the meeting, attendees participated in training sessions on modules that addressed: revenue management; climate-smart capital investment planning; debt financing options; and the enabling environment for subnational finance.

One of the session leaders, Jan Whittington, Assistant Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, said climate-smart building is not only about reducing the impact of carbon emissions or enhancing resilience, but also about making financially-sound decisions. She indicated that she is working with the World Bank in developing a climate-smart capital investment planning methodology that will assist cities in prioritizing municipal financing toward low-carbon, resilient and cost-effective infrastructure investments.

Sameh Naguib Wahba, World Bank Acting Director for Urban Development and Disaster Risk Management, stated that focusing on climate to improve municipal finances and strengthen capital investment planning will enable cities to deliver better services and improve livability and resilience over the long term.

The inaugural City Creditworthiness Academy was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in October 2013, with participation from 54 financial officers from ten African countries. The Academy, part of the World Bank's Low-Carbon, Livable Cities Initiative, aims to help cities improve their finances and access to capital so they can deliver better services and invest in low-carbon development.

The Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) and the World Bank's Low-Carbon Livable Cities Initiative, in collaboration with the C40 Network, the Korea Development Institute (KDI) and the Korean Green Growth Trust Fund (KGGTF), convened the event. PPIAF is a trust fund housed at the World Bank that provides technical assistance to governments to support the creation of enabling environments for private sector participation in basic infrastructure services. The World Bank's Low-Carbon Livable Cities Initiative supports cities in developing countries in planning low-carbon, climate-smart development and accessing financing to implement these plans. [World Bank Press Release] [Workshop Website]