solar panels in front of green trees

Accessing Urban Climate Finance

The goal of this course is to increase the capacity of city-level actors to mobilize and access finance for sustainable and climate-resilient urban infrastructure projects. It offers guidance to subnational governments to better understand the planning, design, and financing processes for these critical projects, shaping net-zero cities that are able to meet the needs of all their residents.

Click to enroll in: English | Bahasa Indonesia | Mandarin | Spanish | French | Portuguese 

1.5 million people are added to cities every week, placing enormous pressure on infrastructure, services, jobs and housing. Recognizing the limitations that many cities face in terms of technical capacity and resources to plan and finance sustainable infrastructure projects, this course provides comprehensive definitions and explanations of available financing sources and mechanisms, such as public-private partnerships and land value capture. Case studies from around the world are included to complement and illustrate the concepts.

By taking this course, municipal officials will gain a deeper knowledge of project structuring and presentation, increasing their chances of effectively connecting with potential investors, financial institutions and project preparation facilities. The course aims to enable learners to better conceptualize bankable climate projects and generate knowledge that will contribute to sustainable development on a regional scale.



This course supports in-depth understanding and application of various financing mechanisms for local climate projects.

Enhance Knowledge

Develop understanding of public and private sources of climate finance.

Understand Financing Models

Identify the most suitable financing instruments for a project through assessing their benefits, drawbacks and implementation mechanisms.

Bankable Project Development

Gain a solid understanding of the key elements and steps required to develop a bankable local infrastructure project that promotes sustainable urban development.

Attract Support

Define the type of support and services that project preparation facilities offer to subnational governments for the development and implementation of urban climate infrastructure projects.

Successful Project Pitches

Distinguish the essential elements to build a project pitch for different audiences, including investors and project preparation facilities.

Share Knowledge

Cultivate and share knowledge on lessons learned from successful climate projects.


Course Outline 

Section 1: Climate Finance Landscape

To ensure that all learners have a basic understanding of the context of urban climate finance, this section will provide an overview of the urban climate finance landscape, emphasizing its importance and explaining the main finance sources and financial instruments available. It will also discuss the challenges local governments face in accessing climate finance, including some recommendations to overcome them. Sub-sections will focus on definitions and the advantages and disadvantages of various financial instruments, from the most commonly used to the most innovative


Section 2: Project Preparation

This section is dedicated to the project preparation process. Starting with presenting the fundamental conditions to set up an enabling environment for climate project planning, the section will identify the key elements and steps required to advance a project the level of bankability. Through highlighting existing opportunities, the section will also offer guidance on how to prepare a solid application to access international finance and technical assistance (including general requirements, eligibility criteria and indicators), and give tips and tricks to successfully pitch and raise funds for a project. 



  • Maryke van Staden, Director of ICLEI's Bonn Center for Local Climate Action and Reporting (carbonn Climate Center), ICLEI
  • Matteo Bizzotto, Communications Officer, ICLEI
  • Olga Tokareva, Communications Junior Officer, ICLEI
  • Terra Virsilas, Urban Development Associate, WRI
  • Robin King, Director of Knowledge Capture and Creation, WRI
  • Mariana Orloff, Associate II, WRI
  • Augustin Maria, Senior Urban Specialist, World Bank
  • Aris Moro, Senior Manager Cities Finance Facility, C40 Cities 
  • Paloma Labbe, Local Finance junior officer, United Cities and Local Governments World Secretariat
  • Priscilla Negreiros, Senior Manager, Climate Policy Initiative
  • Lucy Lavirotte, Professional Officer, ICLEI Africa
  • Johanna Granados Alcala, City Resilience and Climate Finance Advisor, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
  • Jessy Appavoo, UrbanShift Head, C40 Cities