13.02.2020

IKI at the World Urban Forum

SDG cubes on the WUF10

The achievement of SDGs is essential for the sustainable development of cities.

Cities already provide a home for more than 50% of the earth’s population and experts estimate that this figure will rise to almost 70% by 2050. The urbanisation trend will mainly take place in conurbations of emerging and developing countries.

Cities at high risk to the effects of the climate change

Cities are currently responsible for more than two thirds of global, man-made greenhouse gas emissions. In many sectors, a major part of this is due to the consumption of fossil fuels. The building of infrastructure and the associated sealing off of areas are threatening the biodiversity. At the same time, cities are highly susceptible to the effects of climate change. Many metropolitan areas are located on coasts and are also strongly affected by rising sea levels. Other consequences of climate change, such as extreme weather events and water shortages also threaten many city dwellers who live in a relatively small area.

Urban areas are therefore  key to successful climate and biodiversity protection. This is also  reflected in international agreements. For example, the Paris Agreement regards cities as key stakeholders. The 2030 Agenda sets out the design of resilient and sustainable cities in SDG 11 (Sustainable Development Goal). The 2016 UN Habitat III Summit also adopted specific goals for sustainable urban development in the New Urban Agenda.

Sustainable urban development as a funding priority of the IKI

Sustainable urban development has been a cross-sector funding priority of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) since 2015. IKI projects support the partner countries in developing strategies for sustainable and climate-friendly urban development. While the focus is on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, resilience to the effects of climate change and the conservation of biodiversity are also important aspects funded by the IKI projects.

Tenth World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is an important event for a sustainable future in cities. Founded in 2001 by the United Nations, experts meet regularly at the WUF to discuss the most urgent problems caused by the constantly accelerating process of urbanisation. The WUF also aims to promote sustainable urban development through the exchange of experiences, methods and policies. Climate change is therefore an important aspect of WUF. The tenthsession is currently taking place in Abu Dhabi from 8 to 13 February.

The theme of the WUF10 is “Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation”. Both of these themes form an important foundation for achieving inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities – and consequently the urban dimension of the 2030 Agenda.

Logo des 10. Weltstädteforum (WUF)

Energy transition in cities

The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is represented in various WUF10 sessions, including a discussion on Renewable Energies in Cities organised by the REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century). Urban areas are the main components in the energy transition towards emission-free energy supplies, resulting in cleaner, more habitable cities. BMU is also organising a network meeting to discuss the potential of multi-level governance for more ambitious climate measures and sustainable urban development.

The “Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA)”, co-funded by the BMU, is also a co-organiser of a panel on climate finance in cities, during which the participants discuss how to develop and finance climate-friendly urban infrastructure projects in cities. Another focal point is the “Leadership for Urban Climate Investment (LUCI)” initiative, which was launched in 2019. The initiative is aimed at closing existing gaps in regional climate finance architecture and to accelerate and scale the provision of climate finance for cities along the entire investment and infrastructure value chain. The IKI project “Financing Energy for Low-carbon Investment - Cities Advisory Facility” (FELICITY)” is a member of the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA) and a partner in the LUCI initiative.

IKI projects at the World Urban Forum

IKI projects are also involved in other WUF10 side events. For example, the project “URBAN PATHWAYS: Supporting low carbon plans for urban basic services in the context of the New Urban Agenda” is co-organising the “Building a stronger culture of innovation in public transport” and “Global dialogue and local participation: innovative ideas for an active living space process” events. The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP), which is currently implementing two IKI projects, “Growing Smarter: Sustainable Mobility in East Africa” and “India Sustainable Mobility Initiative”, is also represented at two events. At the WUF10, the ITDP is also discussing the potential of the transit-oriented development standard and the possibilities of low-emission transportation for children. In addition to this, the “Gender into Urban Climate Change Initiative (GUCCI)” project is represented at the event on gender-sensitive urban climate policy.