C40 Launches Green Growth and Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Networks

Participating at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Roundtable for Mayors and Ministers in Chicago, C40 Chair New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the launch of two new C40 city-led networks – the Green Growth Network and the Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network – the first of several new action-oriented working groups of cities that will serve as a primary organizing principle of the C40.

The OECD event, held in partnership with C40, the City of Chicago and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, is focused on the interlocking themes of mobilizing investments for urban sustainability, job creation and resilient growth. Urban leaders in attendance from more than 25 countries around the world are grappling with the dual challenge of planning and financing new infrastructure investments that serve growing populations, reduce energy use and mitigate risks from climate impacts.

The C40 networks launched today provide a much-needed forum in which C40 Cities can tackle the “next steps” following today’s meeting, as well as pursue a commonly-held set of targeted priorities. The Green Growth Network will be led by the City of Copenhagen, host of the 2012 Global Green Growth Forum, while the Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network will be led by the City of Chicago, which recently announced a new fund for energy-efficiency improvements, transportation and other infrastructure projects.

In his remarks at the conference, Mayor Bloomberg stated: “Cities worldwide see environmental stewardship and economic growth as desirable, necessary, and closely tied to one another. The Green Growth and Sustainable Infrastructure Networks C40 is launching today will strengthen how cities work together toward these goals, and I commend the Mayors of Copenhagen and Chicago who have stepped up to lead these efforts, respectively. What cities do individually and collectively, through the C40, is increasingly setting the agenda for the entire world.”

C40 networks are guided by city priorities; C40’s own research on the emissions portfolio and the mayoral power profiles of C40 cities; as well as an analysis about where C40 staff support can have the greatest impact. The Green Growth Network, which includes the City of New York, will focus on the full range of ways cities can work with the private sector to attract investment and create jobs, while also meeting environmental goals.

The Sustainable Infrastructure Finance network will help cities learn from one another, and work together in creating, evaluating, and replicating new financing structures for improved mass transit, alternative power generation, and other “green” projects. Last month, the City of Basel, Switzerland, hosted a meeting attended by a number of C40 Cities including Changwon, Johannesburg, London, and Moscow to develop an agenda for this network; going forward, Basel will continue to play an important role in making this new collaborative network a reality.

“I am excited to be able to continue Chicago’s leadership in the important area of sustainable infrastructure and to work with cities on these crucial issues,” said Chicago Mayor Emanuel, who will chair the sustainable infrastructure finance network. “Now more than ever it is important that cities are growing in an efficient, responsible and environmentally conscious fashion, and the important work we will do in this network will help achieve these goals.”

For further information on the Green Growth Network, please read Copenhagen Lord Mayor Jensen’s guest post. Interested C40 Cities should contact Lars Lindholm, lal (at) okf (dot) kk (dot) dk.

For more reading on the Sustainable Infrastructure Network, please see our earlier coverage or contact C40 Finance Director Scott Henderson at shenderson (at) clintonfoundation (dot) org.