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World Bank Launches Low-Carbon Livable Cities Initiative

World Bank25 September 2013: The World Bank has announced the Low-Carbon Livable Cities (LC2) Initiative, an effort to guide developing country cities onto smart, sustainable, green, and inclusive development pathways. The initiative aims to assist 300 cities in the developing world over the next four years through improved planning and financing for low-carbon investments.

According to the World Bank, cities already account for about two-thirds of the world's energy consumption and about 70% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Bank anticipates that the initiative will improve the lives of 700 million people living in these cities, while reducing annual global GHG emissions by 30%. The Bank estimates that only 20% of the world's largest cities currently have basic systems needed for low-carbon planning in place, and that only 4% of the largest 500 developing country cities are creditworthy in international financial markets.

Speaking at the launch of LC2, Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, remarked that "city leaders are not waiting for international agreements to take action. There are many cities in the developing world that want to take a climate-smart development path and that is where our initiative comes in."

The initiative is to be built on existing models and efforts like Rio de Janeiro's Low-Carbon City Development Program, an ISO-certified framework and set of requirements designed to improve planning, implementation, monitoring, and accounting for low-carbon investments and mitigation actions across all sectors.

LC2 planning efforts will similarly target GHG inventories, evaluation tools for the emission reduction potential of investments, and standardized-climate smart investments at the city level. The initiative's financing component aim to develop new financing instruments for low-carbon investment, create pooled delivery mechanisms for private capital, and help cities become qualify for credit ratings. [World Bank Press Release] [Rio de Janeiro Low-Carbon City Development Program]