Project Preparation

Results-Based Financing for Cities (RBF-C)

Helping policy makers attract climate financing based on developmental benefits

Increased investments in low-carbon city projects

Results-based financing (RBF) is a promising approach for urban authorities seeking funding for low-carbon projects. Under RBF, low-carbon investments in cities can attract financing based on climate as well as developmental benefits. Policy makers have used this tool to a limited extent, however, in part due to a lack of clarity regarding the impact of donors’ financing. Our framework – Results-Based Financing for Cities (RBF-C) – will clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of financing on climate projects, helping cities attract increased funding, including from national governments and international development organizations.

Identifying the benefits

Under the RBF-C approach, we have developed a Sustainable Cities Standard for certifying results as well as a Financial Assessment Tool to calculate how developmental benefits impact the financial return of climate projects. Both the tool and standard will help cities better understand the financial and socioeconomic impact of their low-carbon investments.

Until now we have developed three project idea notes (PINs) for low-carbon investment projects within the transport and waste sectors in cooperation with the World Bank Group and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):

  • Nairobi, Kenya (Solid waste recycling)
  • Rajkot, India (Waste treatment)
  • Cali, Colombia (Bus rapid transit system)

We have also have received support letters for the implementation of RBF programs from:

  • Amman, Jordan
  • Cali, Colombia
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Rajkot, India


RBF-C can help cities, donors and investors prioritize projects based on the optimal combination of climate and developmental benefits, including the impact on jobs, health, and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The project is led by South Pole Group and jointly implemented with the Gold Standard Foundation and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

Cities seeking financing for low-carbon investment projects that reduce GHG emissions and generate significant developmental benefits, along with interested investors, can contact the RBF-C team.


Have a look at the recently published factsheet on valuing development co-benefits to make low-carbon investment in cities bankable, including a comparative analysis between projects in waste and transportation sectors.

>> To the factsheet <<


Contact details

Kaveh Rashidi Ghadi, South PoleConsultant and PhD researcher in the field of Public Policy and Economics, +41 43 501 35 50

Kaveh is a consultant at South Pole Group in Zurich, where he works on the projects related to cities and climate finance. Kaveh is an Engineer and Energy Economist, with over 8 years work experience in renewable energy, energy conservation planning and energy efficiency technologies. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering, Master of Science in Management, Technology and Economics (MTEC) from ETH, Zurich. He started his PhD there in September 2014 on the subject of Public Policy and Economics, focusing on urban policy making and its implications for the economy. He has spent a semester as an exchange student in International Economics at Yale University, USA. He is also a visiting researcher at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) of University of Oxford, where he researches on financing urban energy transition. He has been chairman, moderator and presenter at various international conferences including COP21 in Paris, where he presented Result Based Finance Modelling for cities.

Facts and figures

Positive impacts of the projects in Colombo, Nairobi and Balikpapan:


2,000 jobs created

41 million tCO₂eq

41 million tCO₂eq reduced over the projects’ lifetime

100s of tons

100s of tons in Sulphur Oxide (SOx) and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) pollutants will be avoided


1,700 existing ECOSPEED Region clients

Where would we be without our partners