Closing the Gap on City Climate Finance in Developing Countries

Recommendations for policymakers on improving cities’ access to climate finance.

Date Published
26 Jul 2023
Mahesti Okitasari Wenjie Liu Richa Kandpal Kanako Morita
Series Title
UNU-IAS Policy Briefs
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This policy brief offers recommendations for local policymakers to improve cities’ access to climate finance and deliver sustainable development at scale. It analyses barriers faced by cities in securing financing for climate mitigation and adaptation, and identifies strategies to build enabling environments at the national and local levels.


Addressing sustainable urban development issues and delivering the finance needed for climate mitigation and adaptation require closing the city finance gap. Structural changes and improved capacity for city climate finance in developing countries are necessary to overcome the prevalent barriers to accessing available financing. Well-designed and well-managed city climate finance is key for effective interventions to unlock investments and deliver implementation.


  • Prepare city-level climate finance plans and investment strategies.
  • Diversify financial approaches and build community-driven sustainability financing.
  • Improve internal capacity, information disclosure, and prudential regulations.
  • Develop bankable projects and provide incentives to strengthen private sector engagement.

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