Financing Urban Adaptation to Address Climate Change – Day1, Keynote


On March 23 and 24, Penn IUR, Perry World House (PWH), and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy (KCEP) jointly convened three dozen urban policy and finance leaders to find ways to spur investment in urban adaptation to climate change. Financing Urban Adaptation to Address Climate Change included eight expert panels highlighting the implementation and financing of subnational programs and projects designed to adapt to global warming-induced hazards that threaten urban lives and livelihoods.

“Urban climate adaptation will be central to human well-being in a world where 70 or more percent of the world’s population by mid-century is living in cities—and no doubt suffering from what will most likely be well above 1.5 degrees Celsius warming,” said Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor and Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, in his keynote address. “It’s so important that you are getting together this group of experts to think about this issue.”

Over the course of two days, participants shaped a five-point roadmap to stimulate funding in support of urban adaptation to climate change, from (1) mapping needs, (2) coordinating adaptation and mitigation, (3) determining appropriate policy instruments, (4) supporting governmental subsidiarity, to (5) designing new financing approaches. Penn IUR Co-Director Eugénie Birch and KCEP, PWH, and Penn IUR Fellow Mauricio Rodas fleshed out the roadmap more fully in their article for Penn IUR’s Urban Link.

The two-day workshop was part of the City Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Financing Initiative (C2IFI), a joint initiative of PWH, Penn IUR, and KCEP and led by Rodas. C2IFI is building knowledge and facilitating knowledge-sharing to enable mayors, city officials, and municipal stakeholders to find partners, data, financing instruments, best practices, funding models, and experts to assist them with project preparation and advance climate-resilient infrastructure.

March 23: Urban Climate Adaptation Finance Observed

8:30-8:50 Welcome, Keynote Address, The Landscape of Urban Adaptation Finance: Challenges and Opportunities

Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor and Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University
The speaker will discuss climate adaptation projects and their pathways especially those most relevant to cities and metropolitan areas He will outline key challenges and opportunities for funding.

Key Questions:

What political, regulatory, social and economic obstacles are preventing cities from developing and financing adaptation projects?
How can these challenges be addressed, and what are the opportunities that lie ahead?


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