The SDSN Global Commission
for Urban SDG Finance

A high-level group of mayors, experts, city networks and scholars are delivering actionable recommendations for how cities can obtain more and better financing for projects that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Why Urban SDG Finance

While the world’s cities generate 80% of global GDP, they also produce 75% of total CO2 emissions. They are the key to meeting the SDGs and Paris Agreement goals by 2030, a task that requires mobilizing an estimated $4.5 to 5.4 trillion per year and calling for a greater commitment to subnational and urban SDG financing, which is currently far below this number.

Cities need new financial mechanisms and governance systems that can scale up effectively and quickly over the next 20 years. But cities today confront a global financial architecture designed largely by and for nation states, therefore not fit for purpose. Although some development banks have implemented city-oriented programs (such as the EBRD’s Green Cities program), structural and socio-political barriers continue to slow urban investments.

To this end, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) launched the SDSN Global Commission for Urban SDG Finance in June 2023, co-chaired by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France, Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Jeff Sachs, President and founder of SDSN.

The Commission is harnessing the insights of mayors, climate and finance experts, city networks leaders, practitioners, and scholars to develop and champion innovative ideas and solutions for increasing urban SDG finance. The University of Pennsylvania hosts the Commission’s Secretariat.

inaugural Commission meeting
The inaugural Commission meeting was held in Paris in June 2023.