Cities, Regions Get Smart About Financing Low Carbon Technology

An international roster of leaders from city and state governments and business shared their best strategies for financing large-scale deployment of low carbon technologies today at the Climate Week NYºC 2010.

In panels hosted by The Climate Group on the second day of the week-long event in New York, discussion focused on already available smart information and communications technologies (ICTs) that can make the growing urban infrastructure in cities around the world more efficient. 

The Climate Group’s 2008 report, SMART 2020, showed that smart grids, buildings and transport systems could reduce global emissions by 15 percent in 2020.
Climate Week Inset
This represents a significant proportion of emissions or energy/carbon intensity reduction targets currently on the table -- Europe’s 20-20-20 emissions reduction target, India’s 20-25 percent emissions intensity target and China’s 40-45 percent carbon intensity target by 2020.

"We must unlock our potential to promote technological innovations and behavioral changes aimed at delivering a low-carbon future," said Dr. Han Seung-soo, former prime minister of the Republic of Korea and chairman of the board of directors of the Global Green Growth Institute.

Han and Alan Salzman, chairman and founder of VantagePoint Venture Partners, were keynote speakers in the morning-long program.

"Some remarkable changes are already taking place all over the world," Han said in prepared remarks. "While there is no silver bullet to dealing with the climate challenge, I am heartened to see a broad coalition from all sectors of society striving to achieve green growth within their own respective realms.”

Cities represent large and growing markets for smart technologies -- with the global urban population of more than three billion predicted to grow to five billion by 2025, cities are currently responsible for 70 percent of global emissions. But cities and regions must find ways of financing rapid large-scale deployment of smart technologies to meet their energy efficiency and renewable energy goals.

The financial community is already recognizing smart technologies as a good investment opportunity.

Next Page: Why the global financial industry considers low carbon tech a good bet.