The local governments in Norway invest NOK 60 billion (approx. EUR 6 billion) annually in long-term projects such as public buildings, transportation solutions and infrastructure, and enjoy a high degree of autonomy. Although these local government bodies are highly competent in identifying and meeting the current needs of their area, future risks and opportunities related to climate change, climate policies and related liabilities are rarely taken into consideration in their decision processes. This may result in misinvestments or losses in the medium-to-long term.
Kommunalbanken Norway (KBN), the public agency for local government funding, provides low-cost funding to Norwegian municipalities. KBN submitted a proposal to the City Finance Lab to support the creation of a self-assessment tool for cities, to familiarise themselves with potential, relevant climate-related risks. The proposed initiative seeks to empower local governments and officials to make informed decisions in an environment of ‘new’ risks. Specifically, the initiative will highlight the need for climate-conscious investments and unlock political and public support to shift investments to the necessary technologies and solutions. With USD 1.1 trillion per annum needed to make urban infrastructure low-carbon and climate resilient worldwide, the City Finance Lab will support the scaling of the approach in Norway, and the replication of the tool in other countries of the world.