IDFC Facility

IDFC F and CAF launch the NUCA Programme in Colombia to support NDBs in the financing of urban infrastructure projects to the effects of climate change

7 June 2024
  • During the event, the objectives of the programme were presented, the challenges and opportunities of urban climate finance were discussed, and an initial guideline for the implementation of NUCA in Colombia was
  • The event was attended by more than fifty representatives of the national government, national and international financial institutions, and Colombian departmental and municipal governments.

The National Development Banks Urban Climate Action Programme (NUCA), funded by the International Climate Action Initiative (IKI), held its initial phase workshop in Colombia, marking a milestone for the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) in its effort to strengthen the capacity of National Development Banks (NDBs) in urban climate investment finance. The launch event took place during the morning of Thursday, May 16, 2024, at the Radisson Metrotel Hotel in Bogota, bringing together key stakeholders from the public, private finance and climate sectors.

The event began with welcoming remarks by Javier Diaz Fajardo, President of Bancóldex, Rodrigo Peñailillo, CAF Representative in Colombia, and Leonard Maué, Representative of the German Embassy, who pointed out the need to mobilize greater resources and new approaches to close the climate finance gap in Colombia. In this regard, they highlighted the relevance of the NUCA Programme in the framework of the IDFC platform  which, through international financing, promotes coordinated action between regulators, financiers and implementers, to contribute through urban climate finance, in the fight against climate change in Colombia.

This was followed by a panel on urban climate finance in Colombia, moderated by Martha Castillo, CAF’s Senior Executive for Climate Action and Positive Biodiversity, with the participation of Paola Molina, Deputy Director of External Financing of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit; Rafael Herz, Vice President of Structuring of Financiera Nacional de Desarrollo; and Mariana Caicedo, Deputy Executive Director of ProPacífico. The panel highlighted the need to explore new sources of revenue and new financing schemes to enhance the climate ambitions of local governments in Colombia. The panelists also highlighted the importance of strengthening the preparation phase of these kind of projects and of creating a culture of structuring in the country, involving, for example, beneficiary communities and technical and financial entities from the early stages of preparation of urban infrastructure projects.

Subsequently, Vanina Messere, NUCA Programme Coordinator for Latin America, gave a detailed presentation of the programme which, in addition to Colombia, is implemented in Brazil, Indonesia, Mozambique and South Africa. Vanina also presented a preliminary identification of the key actors and synergies necessary for the successful implementation of NUCA  that will result in a stakeholder strategy, available at the end of this initial phase.

Barbara Barros, Director of Adaptation Finance at C40, technical partner of the programme, discussed through concrete projects developed in Colombian cities, the opportunities for urban climate action in Latin America. Barbara highlighted the need for capacity building on climate change at the local level as a starting point to accelerate the technical dialogue on urban climate finance. She also highlighted the importance of networking to generate and share knowledge on urban infrastructure with climate co-benefits among cities in the region.


On the other hand, José Eduardo Padrón, chief executive of the CAF Representative Office in Colombia, moderated a discussion among the participants to define the guidelines and next steps of the NUCA Programme in the country. Finally, Romain André, Deputy Director of AFD Colombia, presented the conclusions of the event, highlighting the importance of having spaces for dialogue between regulators, financiers and implementers of territorial development in Colombia and the relevance of the NUCA Programme to leverage non-refundable resources for the structuring of low-carbon urban infrastructure projects that are resilient to the effects of climate change.

This event marks a significant step towards the consolidation of efforts and resources to address urban climate challenges in Colombia, promoting sustainable and resilient development in the country’s cities.

The NUCA Programme is an initiative implemented in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Mozambique and South Africa, funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Government, with a technical contribution of €20 million. The programme seeks to strengthen national development banks (NDBs) to finance urban climate investments through three lines of action:

  • Capacity building: improve the technical and institutional capacities of NDBs to integrate climate change into their urban finance activities.
  • Project preparation: carry out feasibility studies for urban climate projects, accompanied by co-financing commitments.
  • Knowledge generation: promote the exchange of knowledge between banks and strategic actors at the national and international level on climate finance mechanisms.

The programme is structured in a seven-member consortium, led by AFD on behalf of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC). In each country an implementation partner has been identified and in the case of Colombia, it will work hand in hand with CAF – Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean. C40 Cities Climate Leadership and the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA) are technical and knowledge partners of the programme respectively.

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