C40 expands support for Southeast Asian cities to accelerate carbon neutrality




  • Backed with UK government funding, the recently launched Climate Action Implementation (CAI) Programme in Southeast Asia is supporting three cities in the region to embed and implement priority climate actions through varied technical assistance and capacity building.
  • C40 announced its collaboration with the local governments of Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Quezon City to implement transformational climate actions and mainstreaming activities from 2022-2025. The announcement in Jakarta also marked the kickoff of a sustainable infrastructure project co-implemented by the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft f�r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
  • The regional CAI Programme launch ceremonies in each of the cities featured high-level speakers from cities' government and the diplomatic communities.

C40 Cities launched a new programme in Southeast Asia which aims to support three cities in the region in developing ambitious climate action implementation plans. Spanning four years, from 2022 to 2025, the Climate Action Implementation (CAI) Programme will help these cities to become carbon neutral by 2050 and secure a greener future for their nearly 15.5 million residents.

The launch ceremonies took place in August and September, and were officiated by three mayors in the Southeast Asia region: the Honourable Mayor of Quezon City, Josefina Belmonte, the Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, and the Datuk Bandar (mayor) of Kuala Lumpur, YBhg. Datuk Seri Hj. Mahadi bin Che Ngah. The events' audience were composed of federal and municipal government officials in the areas of climate change and energy, business leaders, local and international development partners, financing institutions, embassy representatives, academics and civil society groups, including professional associations and non-governmental organisations. The three events were attended by 280 guests in total, with more viewers watching online. UK government representatives gave the opening remarks outlining their support and the programme's vision.

Laure Beaufils, British Ambassador to the Philippines and Palau, said: The UK recognises that climate action at the sub-national level is a key element of the global net zero equation. With rapid urbanisation, cities like Quezon City, will have a more crucial role in the climate transition to curb emissions, ensure a green recovery and low-carbon growth, while safeguarding citizens against severe impacts of climate change. Achieving Paris alignment will be a challenging mission for every city which will entail systemic changes, government leadership, and collaboration across multiple sectors to achieve ambitious climate action. I wish Quezon City every success towards meeting their ambitious goals.

C40 and the three cities in the region are partnering to implement transformational climate actions and mainstreaming activities. The comprehensive technical assistance and capacity-building CAI programme will focus on delivering high-priority actions on policies and actions that will enhance energy efficiency, amend net zero emission buildings policies, and expand the adoption of renewable energy in government-owned, commercial, and residential buildings. The support of this programme would also be to maintain the ambition and pace of the respective cities' climate action work, while providing specific technical project design and mainstreaming of climate actions across the city' administrations. Each city has completed a Climate Action Plan (CAP) that outlines actions and processes for cities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience.

Milag San Jose-Ballesteros, C40's Regional Director for East, Southeast Asia and Oceania, said: Cities are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. They are also where solutions lie and transformative actions are taken. In 2021, supported by C40 Cities, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Quezon City launched ambitious climate action plans. This year, we look forward to continuing the partnership with these cities – with support from the UK government – to turn strategies into wider implementation, progress bold climate policies and actions, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 – creating resilient and liveable cities for their people.”

According to recent findings by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – ASEAN Centre for Energy, in ASEAN, buildings account for almost a quarter of the region's total final energy consumption and energy-related CO2 emissions, particularly given the tropical climate and cooling needs in the region. With continued economic development, urbanisation and population growth across the region, final energy consumption and CO2 emissions in buildings will continue to grow without ambitious policy interventions. Thus the three cities of the respective Middle-Income Countries have high mitigation potential.

YBhg. Datuk Seri Hj. Mahadi bin Che Ngah, Datuk Bandar (Mayor) of Kuala Lumpur, said: The effects of climate change must be taken seriously and addressed immediately to ensure the wellbeing and survival of future generations. We will succeed in addressing the difficulties and challenges faced through close cooperation between various parties and all stakeholders.

Green finance access for Jakarta Capital's Special Region (DKI Jakarta) hospitalsThe C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) selected Jakarta as one of the CFF partner cities for the project “Hospitals Improvement for Green and Just Recovery.” CFF will provide technical assistance for the development of city government capacity, studies and facilitation during the project development stage. Both the project and the CAI Programme will be implemented in the city of Jakarta starting this year. In line with U20 Summit objectives, the joint high-level launch invited funding partners, relevant national government ministries, agencies, and other relevant stakeholders to gain support, to build networks and partnerships, and to secure their commitment on climate action implementation on energy efficiency and renewable energy for contributing to a sustainable, resilient, inclusive, and green recovery.

Ina Lepel, German Ambassador to Indonesia, ASEAN & Timor-Leste: Jakarta is once more showcasing its leading role to address climate change at the city level. The “Hospital Improvement for Green and Just Recovery” is an outstanding reaction to the challenges we must face: the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Germany stands ready to support Jakarta to develop a finance-ready project to facilitate private sector involvement. This will enable other Indonesian cities to follow the example and contribute to achieving the net zero commitments from Jakarta by 2050 and Indonesia by 2060 in the climate-smart health care.”

The launch ceremonies occurred on 11 August (Quezon City), 6 September (Jakarta) and 9 September (Kuala Lumpur). Click here to watch the live stream of the Quezon City and Kuala Lumpur events.

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