The AFD is the Groupe Agence Française de Développement, a bilateral development finance institution established in 1941. AFD implements the French government’s ODA policies and aims at reducing poverty and inequalities, promoting sustainable economic growth, and protecting “Global Public Goods”, which involves contributing to climate change mitigation.
AFD has been committed to promoting research in the field of Cities and Climate Change. In partnership with the World Bank and the French Ministry for Sustainable Development, it co-organized in 2009, in Marseille, the Fifth Urban research Symposium entitled “Cities and Climate Change: responding to an urgent agenda”. In 2010, with the World Bank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa, it co-organized a workshop in Johannesburg, in order to address climate issues relevant to African cities. It is currently carrying out a comparative research project on local climate strategies implemented by cities in both high and medium income countries. It is also involved in two research initiatives that have been launched by the Center for the Mediterranean Integration, namely “Cities and Climate Change” and “Sustainable Urban transport”. Last, it is about to launch a research program on adaptation in cities of low and medium income countries. Those initiatives are complementary to other research projects and programs, which address climate change mitigation at large, and GHG emitting urban sectors (e.g. transport and the building sector) in particular. In that framework, a large research program entitled “Implementing large-scale energy efficiency program in existing buildings in China” has been implemented, and led to an AFD-IEA joint publication entitled Promoting Energy efficiency investments: case studies in the residential sector.
AFD also finances C-lean (i.e. “carbon-lean” or low carbon) urban development projects. This involves working directly with municipal authorities, which have a significant influence on the city energy consumption pattern as direct energy consumers, urban planners and owners of the urban infrastructure (local electricity grids, water and sanitation networks, waste treatment units, etc). AFD has contributed to the development of mass transit systems, through the financing of metro lines, tramway lines and BRTS in cities of Latin America, North Africa and Asia. It has also provided technical and financial assistance in the framework of a water-energy-climate program in EThekwini (South Africa) in order to lower the city’s carbon footprint, through the development of a gravity based water pumping system, energy efficiency retrofitting of public buildings, the installation of solar water heaters, the reuse of biogas emitted from solid and liquid waste. In addition, AFD is committed to supporting the development of municipal climate action plan: it has already supported the implementation of the Bangkok Climate Action Plan, and is currently exploring opportunities in South Africa and Turkey. Moreover, in the framework of its support to the implementation of the Mexican Government’s national climate action plan, AFD provides technical assistance to foster coordination between urban planning and environmental planning at the municipal level, and supports the city of Campeche in the formulation of a sustainable development action plan. Last, AFD has developed the “bilan carbone”, a tool to measure the carbon footprints of the projects and programs it finances and is currently looking into the development of additional tools so as to better take into account the impacts of long term development dynamics at the local level. It is also investigating tools to facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation objectives in the projects and programs it supports. In terms of both research and action, AFD is committed to contributing to the formulation and implementation of local climate change action plans (or strategies) that would be integrated to a long term sustainable urban development approach.