Skip to content

City climate finance – insights from Bristol, Indianapolis, SEI and CPI

Team Wed, 22 March 2023

Bristol – part of the EU Cities Mission – has recently established a £1 billion public-partnership to decarbonize the city, and have just been chosen to pilot a Net Zero Investment Co-innovation Lab with €1.5 million in funding from the EU. 

On the other side of the Atlantic, the City of Indianapolis has prepared to make use of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) by establishing a regional Green Bank.  On the private financing side, they're also setting up a green bond.

This and much more was discussed at the recent ClimateView event.

On Tuesday 21 March, ClimateView hosted an event titled “Fit for finance? How cities navigate the climate investment jungle”. The event brought together experts from across Europe and the US to share their experiences, challenges, and solutions on climate finance. It featured a panel discussion with speakers from Bristol, Indianapolis, Stockholm Environment Institute.

The panelists were

  • Richard Martin, Climate Change Project Manager - Strategy Coordination at Bristol City Council
  • Morgan Mickelson, Director, Office of Sustainability at City of Indianapolis
  • Fedra Vanhuyse, Finance and Procurement Strategist, Viable Cities and Head of Division - Societies, Climate and Policy Support at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
  • Francisco Macedo, Senior Program Associate at Climate Policy Initiative (CPI)

The panel discussion started with questions to the cities of Bristol and Indianapolis.

Morgan Mickelson's office in Indianapolis is working with a Green Bond and is preparing for a regional Green Bank, in light of IRA funds. As can be seen in Indianapolis' Climate Action Plan, they are working on adaptation too. 

Richard Martin, in Bristol, as an EU Mission City Pilot is plotting the launch of several initiatives. Bristol's Net Zero Investment Co-innovation Lab, a Net Zero Venture Fund; a Carbon Multiplier Fund; a Citizen Community Climate Investment Scheme to name a few. What's more, for the past year they've been in full swing preparing for the City Leap - the public-private joint venture with Vattenfall and Ameresco. Some of the secrets behinds the city's success can be found in Bristol's Climate Action Plan. 

What is your #1 tip to any city navigating the city investment jungle? 

Upon being asked to share their compass in the jungle, panelist had an answer each.  

  • Tip #1: think of who that will benefit from the investment.

  • Tip #2: make sure the new investments benefits the whole community.

  • Tip #3: listen closely when you hear about successful cases. 

  • Tip #4: lean on existing knowledge resources. 

On the topic of the research and case examples needed for city climate financing that works, Fedra Vanhuyse shared her experience working with cities in Sweden and Europe to achieve climate neutrality through innovative financing approaches, such as developing Climate Investment Plans. 

Francisco Macedo, made the case to why project preparation is a critical component of successful financing processes. Here, project preparation is key. Moreover, financial aggregation is an overlooked option, and Francisco shared a 2022 report (Financial aggregation for cities) and alerted the crowd of the upcoming 2023 version. CPI also offers a Financial Instruments Toolkit for cities. 

Access event

The event recording is available to watch on-demand. 


Download the recording


ClimateView continues to host events in their city climate financing series, including an upcoming event on Climate Investment Plans.