NEW YORK: At COP28, Samantha Power, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced that the agency is committing more than $53 million for new low-carbon and climate-resilient activities in 23 cities in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

In a statement on Wednesday, Power explained that these funds will provide resources to translate national climate ambitions into local action in urban areas. Cities are responsible for 75 percent of the planet’s CO2 emissions and are home to over half of the world’s population. By funding local solutions in cities, USAID is minimising the costs and consequences of climate impacts while protecting development gains.

She added that the new initiatives will focus on supporting programmes and partnerships that enable local governments to anticipate climate risks and target urban issues like air pollution in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, and building resilience to rising temperatures and water scarcity in Rajkot, India.

In other cities, like Hermosillo and Merida, Mexico and Mbombela, South Africa, different focus areas include decarbonising the transportation sector with electric vehicles and public transportation, transitioning buildings to net zero emissions through energy efficiency measures and clean energy sources, accelerating innovative adaptation solutions, and expanding climate finance options for local governments.

This funding complements and expands USAID’s ongoing work to enable and empower local governments and vulnerable communities to realise their own resilient, low-carbon futures.