Eco-Cities India Program
Eco-Cities India is a multi-year technical advisory program, established under the EU-India Cooperation on Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency. A climate-change focused initiative, the program is structured around five cities—Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, and the Mumbai and Pune metropolitan regions. The program is designed to assist government and civil society in meeting efficiency targets, such as the Nationally Determined Contributions—the pledged reductions in emissions levels and increased focus on climate-resilient development.
All of this is taking place in the context of a rapidly changing world. A 2018 report by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs estimated that by 2050, about 400 million Indians will have migrated to urban areas of the country. This trend is visible all over the world—other reports estimate that by the same time, there will be roughly 6 billion people living in urban areas worldwide. Cities of the future are expected to account for 90 per cent of the world’s population growth, 80 per cent of its carbon emissions, and 75 per cent of its energy consumption.
In one sense, this is good news—urbanization is often held up as an indicator of economic growth. However, this vast new urban population will also increase an already high demand for housing, transportation, clean water, energy and other resources. Unless cities of the future are developed in a planned, eco-friendly manner, these new demands will place unsustainable strains upon the already stretched urban infrastructure networks.
According to estimates, India will need at least $1 trillion in capital investment to establish the sort of sustainable development protocols and infrastructure that its growing urban population will depend on. This investment cannot possibly come from the government alone—it is crucial for private sector investment to be stimulated, and for funding to reach the areas most in need of it.
In this regard, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is uniquely positioned to make an essential contribution. In collaboration with the European Union (EU), the IFC’s Eco-Cities India program aims to help Indian government and civil society address some of the key challenges of the near future. For instance, part of the IFC’s expected impact—through policy interventions, business incentives and certification programs, for instance—includes directing $200 million of private investment to financing climate-change related projects, as well as achieving a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 1 million tons per year.
Among the primary goals for the program are the to develop solutions to infrastructural problems relating to urban transportation, water and waste management, street lighting, green affordable housing, energy efficiency, and climate resilience. In that regard, the program is developing and financing replicable, scalable projects in three areas:
Eco-Cities India facilitates climate-smart infrastructure reforms in the five chosen cities under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model. Aims include the promotion of clean technology and energy efficiency, water and waste management, urban mobility and transport solutions in selected cities. For instance, a public streetlighting project in Bengaluru involves the replacement of 465,000 fluorescent and metal vapor fixtures with energy efficient LED versions, and expects to raise about $70 million of private sector investment to that end.See more