The city of Monastir, Tunisia, a Clima-Med partner municipality, is among the five frontrunner cities that have been selected as climate leaders for their ambitious and potentially transformative urban climate projects in the “Global Climate City Challenge” launched in September 2018. Monastir has benefited of a full support from the Clima-Med project and was coached by the project team of experts in preparing and submitting the call. that could receive technical support from the EIB.

On December 10, at the UN Climate Change COP25, European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer announced the names of the five frontrunner cities that have been selected and in line to receive technical support from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to get their projects off the ground. The following cities: Cotonou (Benin), Makindye (Uganda), Monastir (Tunisia), Jambi (Indonesia) and Recife (Brazil) now qualify for the next phase of the Global Climate City Challenge (GCCC), a partnership between the Global Covenant of Mayors and the European Investment Bank endorsed by the European Commission. They serve as role models for climate action in key sectors and cities in the Global South.

The Mayor of Monastir, Mr. Mondher Marzouk took part in the event at COP25, together with Mr. Frans Timmermans, newly appointed Co-Chair of GCoM and European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, EIB President Werner Hoyer, and former New York City Mayor and Co–Chair and Co-Founder of GCoM Michael R. Bloomberg and UN-Habitat’s Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif.

Mr. Marzouk said: « We have no shortage of ideas in our climate action plan but access to finance is instrumental to getting projects out of our pipeline and on to the ground. The time to be ambitious in urban climate action is now—and we, in Monastir are ready to act”.

The projects focus on critical urban climate action including improving waste management, cutting river and ocean pollution, sustainable urban transport, greening urban spaces and enhancing urban resilience to the effects of climate change.

The Global Climate City Challenge was launched in September 2018. From an initial 140 projects and 100 applicant cities, these five have emerged as the frontrunners. Urban finance and climate experts are now working with municipalities and their partners in order to scope out the details of their project needs. If successful, the projects will generate important social and environmental co-benefits.

“The Commission is making the European Green Deal its number one priority”, said Frans Timmermans, newly appointed Co-Chair of GCoM and European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal. “The European Commission is proud to endorse this step forward in accelerating local climate action, not only in Europe but across the world”. Former New York City Mayor and Co-Chair and Co-Founder of GCoM Michael R. Bloomberg said: “There are more than 10,000 cities in the Global Covenant of Mayors, and together they are home to a huge number of promising ideas. The Global Climate City Challenge will help turn the best ideas into real policies that improve people’s lives – and spread from city to city”. EIB President Werner Hoyer said, “Cities need support in getting their climate projects off the ground and, as we strengthen our role as the EU’s climate bank, we at the EIB need great role models. In that respect The Global Climate City Challenge, our partnership with GCOM, is immensely important: it showcases climate leaders like the 5 announced today but also helps identify what is really needed locally to make them bankable, improve the lives of local people, and tackle climate change . “

The GCCC is part of an overall strategic approach to help cities realize their climate action ambition. The GCCC challenge has revealed a greater need for early-stage project support for cities to define their climate action projects and get them off the ground. It illustrates exactly why there is a need for the planned City Climate Finance Gap Fund, which will provide funding to prepare pre-feasibility studies and other support at the early stages of project preparation.

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