Financing low-carbon, climate-resilient urban infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific


Stella Whittaker

Principal Sustainability & Climate Change, Ramboll AUS
T: +61 2 9954 8102
We are providing technical assistance to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) related to financing low-carbon, climate-resilient urban infrastructure in cities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Analysis and identifying models

For six pilot cities, we are conducting workshops to map climate vulnerability and validate identified infrastructure options. These sessions bring together high-ranking city officials, academics, utility managers and other project teams to work collaboratively to address the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. We will prioritize options through a macro-level cost-benefit analysis. This analysis will be accompanied by identification of financing models and mechanisms to address investment needs and capitalize on identified opportunities in each pilot city.

Our team tested new software to integrate technology platforms, which are critical to enabling engagement in cities where data is scarce. Ultimately, we aim to identify which projects, or components of projects, could be eligible for climate financing from donor agencies, development banks or the private sector. Pilot city analysis will be extrapolated to all cities within ADB developing member countries, which have a population greater than 750,000 and a growth rate exceeding 30 percent by 2030. More than 100 cities in the Asia-Pacific region meet this criteria.

New targets are being set

Based on our assistance with the pilot cities, we were awarded a similar project with ADB in Xiangtan City, China. The Xiangtan project will identify the vulnerability of the city’s critical infrastructure under future scenarios of climate change, and fill knowledge gaps regarding city-level investment needs and appropriate financing mechanisms for low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure.

This project represents a significant opportunity to engage in China’s recent expansion of the Low-Carbon Pilot Cities initiative, which began with eight cities in 2010 and now encompasses 100 cities throughout the nation. The initiative requires cities to produce comprehensive strategies for peak carbon emissions before 2030 through prioritizing projects based on each city’s circumstances. The low-carbon cities will develop city-wide greenhouse gas emission inventories, set measurable reduction targets, develop low-carbon action plans and establish tracking mechanisms.

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