Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA)

Information presented in this profile is for reference only. The Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative does not guarantee as to the exhaustiveness of this information and invites you to contact the Secretariat ( if you wish to propose any modifications.

By including this profile, the Initiative, its Supporting Institutions and the Secretariat do not endorse the activities described below nor the guidance and information provided in this profile.

Last updated: July 2018




Launched at the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September 2014, the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA) gathers “over forty leading organizations actively working to mobilize investment into low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure in cities and urban areas internationally”[1].

What are the objectives of the initiative?

Its mission is “to catalyze and accelerate additional capital flows to cities, maximize investment in climate smart infrastructure, and close the investment gap in urban areas over the next fifteen years.”[2]

Who launched it? Who is participating?

“The Alliance brings together a diverse group of public and private institutions that do not usually work together. It facilitates collaboration that reinforces and expands the impact of members’ own activities to achieve macro-scale solutions for mobilizing investment in low-carbon, climate resilient urban infrastructure.

Alliance members include public and private finance institutions, governments, United Nations and technical support agencies, city and subnational networks and associations, research and other non-governmental organisations and philanthropic foundations.”[3]

Why has this been put into place?

“The Alliance adds value by leveraging the work, knowledge, and expertise of its members, designing its work priorities to be catalytic, to fill gaps and avoid duplication. Its core value propositions include:

– Advocacy and raising visibility;

– Scaling-up successful financial products;

– Growing pipelines of bankable projects;

– Creating enabling environments;

– Catalyzing and brokering partnerships; and

– Coordinating and manage research & knowledge.

The Alliance aims to deliver its mission by pursuing three core outcomes:

  1. Increasing visibility: Highlighting the current flows and existing city climate finance “investment gap” – namely the gap between current level of investment in low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure and that which is required to avert dangerous impacts of climate change.
  2. Increasing capacity: Identifying barriers and promoting solutions (such as policy conditions, institutional arrangements, new skills and knowledge) necessary to facilitate additional large-scale capital flows of investment into climate resilient and low-emissions infrastructure.
  3. Increasing supply: Identifying and mobilizing existing and innovative new models of public and private investments in configurations that are scalable and replicable.”[4]

What are the main work streams/areas of work?

“Alliance members collaborate in thematic Working Groups addressing issues of relevance or interest for their organisation. Working Groups are formed in response to acknowledged need or desire to address a particular issues.”[5]

  • Innovation Labs Working Group: works on identifying catalytic financial strategies and instruments, and pilot new climate funding models, instruments, mechanisms, approaches and processes.
  • De-risking Facility Working Group: it will engage in developing solutions to obstacles and financial bottlenecks to improve conditions for local implementation of climate resilience programs.
  • Research & Knowledge Working Group: aims to identify knowledge gaps around climate finance for cities to help the members of CCFLA redirect its operational activities on the most effective actions to increase finance streams for city climate mitigation and adaption. In the coming year this working group aims to harmonize common principles of what constitutes city climate finance and prepare and facilitate the production of a second annual solution-focused report on the state of city climate finance.
  • Project Preparation Facility Working Group: focuses on enabling implementation, supporting local metropolitan and regional governments (LMRGs) and their partners to build capacity and to scale up planning, project preparation and financing of their projects.

What are concrete outcomes (both political and in terms of recommendations)?

“Acknowledging the common need to identify, articulate, strengthen and scale up CCFLA members’ initiatives related to subnational and local climate finance, the Secretariat and Climate KIC undertook a survey of Alliance member activities and initiatives to produce the 2016 CCFLA Scoping Report.

The mapping seeks to be representative, not exhaustive, of the variety of initiatives that have been recently developed by CCFLA members in line with the five recommendations of the CCFLA State of Cities Climate Finance 2015 report. In addition, it identifies opportunities for cooperation among members as well as « gaps » that need to be addressed to catalyze climate finance at local subnational and local levels. This publication serves as an invitation addressed to CCFLA members to get involved in further detailed analysis so as to enhance its value to Members.”[6]

This report was updated in 2017 with the publication of the report Localizing Climate Finance, Mapping Gaps and Opportunities, Designing Solutions

Have intermediate or final reports / guidance been issued?

Summary of Good Practice of Successful Project Preparation Facilities, 2018 – “Members of the CCFLA Working Group on Project Preparation have been jointly implementing a series of research and complementary actions in the course of 2017 aiming at identifying and analyzing the Project Preparation Facilities (PPFs) experiences. This report profiles a set of subnational project preparation facilities (PPF) in Asia and Latin America and analyses project preparation tools, approaches, main bottlenecks, and solutions, by presenting three case studies as well as highlights from experts’ interviews.”

Localizing climate finance, mapping gaps and opportunities, 2nd Edition, 2017 – “the report highlights the great diversity of financial and non-financial products and services developed – often in a joint thematic, sectoral or through constituencies collaboration – by CCFLA members, to support cities and regions climate smart investments in particular through project preparation.”

The state of city climate finance 2015the report “identifies the gap between the current levels of investment in low-emission, climate resilient urban infrastructure and the volumes required to ensure that the world is on track to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees.[…] The report also includes analysis of major barriers to investment and solutions to address these.”

Calendar and milestones


Supporting Institutions members of the CCFLA








Links with the 5 Voluntary Principles for Mainstreaming Climate Action

This section aims to support discussions on the implementation of the 5 voluntary Principles for Mainstreaming Climate Action. Information provided in this section is for reference only; the Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative, its Supporting Institutions and the Secretariat do not endorse the activities nor the guidance and information provided in this section.

The state of city climate finance 2015 provides, among others, the following recommendations:

  • Develop and encourage project preparation and maximise support for mitigation and adaptation projects. Project preparation facilities and their financing partners can change project selection criteria to favour low-emission, climate-resilient infrastructure; conduct climate assessments and design recommendations to improve the sustainability of traditional infrastructure projects; and build technical and financial capacity to advise on infrastructure that incorporates low-emission, climate-resilient technology.
  • Collaborate with local financial institutions to develop climate finance infrastructure solutions for cities. Development-bank capital and co-financing arrangements for some programmes can be channelled to local and regional banks, mortgage lenders, and other financial intermediaries to increase their awareness and experience of investing in lowemission, climate-resilient urban infrastructure. Local financial institutions can also provide an important channel for aggregating and dispersing international climate funding to cities.
    Create a lab or network of labs to identify catalytic financial instruments and pilot new funding models. These labs should focus on using development-bank and concessionary capital to identify, pilot, and evaluate new instruments, models, and mechanisms for financing low-emission, climate-resilient urban infrastructure.”

The Summary of Good Practice of Successful Project Preparation Facilities, explores solutions and develops recommendations through expert discussions showing how risk mitigation instruments, project structuring and fair PPP models may be combined and tailor-made to specific project characteristics. In addition, suggestions for new PPF approaches are made. A summary of these main findings is presented below: