African mayors call for private-public investment in infrastructure to enable the critical transformation of cities at C40’s annual event.
C40 Cities’ Financing Sustainable African Cities Forum is calling for the development of purposeful and systemic infrastructure to secure sustainable and inclusive city transformation across the African continent.
The transformational potential of African cities, a need for inclusive financing models and our collective responsibility in the global fight for sustainability were key themes of C40’s event, which took place in South Africa for the first time.
Supported by Citi Foundation, the forum underlined the importance of public and private investment to sustainable city transformation and called for urgent investor action to secure a sustainable future for all African citizens.
The forum provided a platform for more than 50 African city officials to highlight their role as climate leaders. City officials were also able to share experiences, challenges and opportunities with investors, government representatives, international stakeholders and not-for-profit organisations.
“Some leaders argue that the effects of climate change are the result of years of neglect by developed countries. But we need to focus on what every single nation can do right now to improve our shared future,” said Herman Mashaba, executive mayor of the city of Johannesburg.
“Let us not delude ourselves; a lack of development does not exempt us from taking responsibility for our collective destiny. Rather than dwelling upon who brought us to this point, we must focus on putting sustainable development front and centre in all of our work.”
Panel topics covered financial tools for climate adaptation in cities, the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships, and aligning inclusivity with sustainability and partnerships to develop clean transportation and energy.
“By developing financing solutions between city mayors and officials, and the investors who can unlock critical sustainability solutions, we’re building a sustainable urban future"
The event led into two days of workshop sessions for cities to discuss new ideas for sustainable change, share expertise and determine next steps in their journey to tackle climate change.
“In recent years, the world has started waking up to the potential of cities to save us from climate disaster. Cities are where the action is happening, and the global leadership is being shown,” added James Alexander, director of the city finance programme, C40 Cities climate leadership group.
“However, securing the financing to unlock the potential, impact and innovation of cities is still a key issue, and that’s why it’s so important to bring together city, government and investment leaders through the C40 Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative.”
He continued: “By developing financing solutions between city mayors and officials, and the investors who can unlock critical sustainability solutions, we’re building a sustainable urban future for generations to come.”
C40 Cities connects 94 of the world’s leading cities to take bold climate action, with the aim of leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future.
Representing more than 700 million citizens and one quarter of the global economy, mayors of the C40 cities are reportedly committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at local level.
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