Lisbon’s City Finance Lab-backed green participatory budget awarded €5 million budget for next cycle



In The News

12 Jun 2019

Lisbon City Council’s first-ever ‘green’ participatory budget, an initiative supported and managed by South Pole and EIT Climate-KIC’s City Finance Lab, has been allocated a €5 million budget to support climate change mitigation and adaptation projects selected by local citizens.

The Mayor of Lisbon made the announcement in May during the ceremony for the winning citizen-selected projects.

Part of Lisbon City’s participatory budget, i.e. one in which citizens also decide how to allocate funds, the ‘green’ label sets aside funds for projects with positive climate change mitigation and adaptation impacts, such as cycle lanes, tree planting to support heat reduction, or water capture and storage.

The impact of the ‘green’ participatory budget is two-fold: it ensures constant annual investments into the city’s low-carbon transition, whilst also raising awareness among citizens of the benefits of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. The public investment also aims to become a catalyst to unlock private sector capital for such projects.

There are more than 1500 cities across the world that also have participatory budgets. This means there are many opportunties to replicate this initiative and a number of cities in Portugal have already expressed interest.

The Lisbon City Council’s ‘green’ participatory budget was one of the first five innovative financing solutions supported by the City Finance Lab in 2018, and is the first to raise dedicated funds for the climate-aligned transition. The City Finance Lab will work towards scaling the initiative in Lisbon and replicating it in other cities.

“Lisbon is strongly committed to its transition towards a sustainable climate-resilient city. Thanks to the valuable support of the advisors of the City Finance Lab in 2018, we have reached a milestone in the implementation of a ‘green’ participatory budget, to channel investments into climate mitigation and adaptation projects,” says Paulo Francisco, Head Chief of the Participation Division of the Lisbon City Council.

“The success and scalability of Lisbon’s ‘green’ seal demonstrates the value of the City Finance Lab in securing new sources of financing for sustainable urban projects. The City Finance Lab has a vital role to play in incubating innovative financing solutions and stimulating scaling and replication, which are vital in transforming the landscapes of our global cities towards a low-carbon future,” says Hans-Peter Egler, Director Public Affairs, South Pole, a Swiss carbon finance consultancy.

“Cities are places of tremendous potential and in need of climate finance. The City Finance Lab aims to support EU municipalities willing to pilot innovative mechanisms and share their learnings globally. We are proud of our collaboration with Lisbon who embeds commitment for an inclusive and participatory process to support localised climate action,” says Victor Gancel, Programme Manager, EIT Climate-KIC.

Launched in 2018, the City Finance Lab is Europe’s first dedicated platform supporting the development of innovative financing solutions that increase investment in low-carbon, resilient and sustainable urban projects.

The platform is managed by South Pole and operates across EIT Climate-KIC’s Cities and Finance programs.


Related Goal

Goal 12: Foster bankable green assets in cities


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