Within the Global Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate (GCoM) Day at COP25 in Madrid, a panel discussion on “Unlocking Urban Investment Opportunities” was held on Monday, 9 December 2019. Panelists highlighted the importance of having good plans which can be used to attract private financing for public projects that benefit the cities.
Datuk Ismail Ibrahim of Iskandar, Malaysia – one of IUC Asia’s pilot cities – explained the city’s action plan called “Low Carbon Society Blueprint”, which has guided the city’s climate actions. Datuk Ismail pointed out the importance of stakeholders and policy-makers cooperation. Thus, in Iskandar Malaysia, IRDA involves the businesses in public projects at an early stage to get buy-in and make projects bankable. He also stressed that it is not always necessary to get external funds for city projects; you could have all the funds but projects still could fail. What is important is good relationships between stakeholders and decision-makers, a robust plan, and good governance – so Datuk Ismail.
The Vice Mayor of Rotterdam stated that City Hall has implemented a local climate agreement between the public and private sectors for good joint investments. Eero Ailio from the European Commission’s DG ENERGY stated that EU funds must be tailor-made to specific projects. He also explained the importance of the GCoM initiative for achieving climate action also in Asia and highlighted the EU’s support for its implementation.