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Bankers Without Boundaries Talk Series: Cities, Environment, Financial Instruments & Innovation

Thomas Osdoba, Climate-KIC: Cities, Environment, Financial Instruments & Innovation.

BwB's Managing Director Jennifer Faust and Asen Charliyski, Global Head for Sustainable Cities Finance, hosted the latest BwB Talk Series. The BwB Talk Series is where we bring innovative leaders in impact, finance, and the environment to speak with our network around the world. The BwB Talk Series helps generate new ideas for our network by bringing experts to share their deep knowledge of sustainability topics.

We were pleased to welcome Thomas Osdoba, Senior City Advisor for Climate-KIC. Thomas inspired an engaging discussion around the talk titled Cities, Environment, Financial Instruments & Innovation.

Some of the main takeaways from this talk were:

·There is a financial gap between cities and the private sector. There is currently an unspoken disconnect between finance being prepared to come in for a project and an organization's ability to finance. For sufficient financing of sustainability projects in the future, cities will benefit from recognizing their limitations and dedicated resources to improve financial literacy. The private sector will also benefit from understanding what individual city needs might be. BwB has worked with cities and countries to provide financial workshops to help bridge this knowledge gap.

·There is an opportunity for capacity building and to mobilize investments effectively towards sustainable projects. Cities can benefit from dedicating more time and resources to capacity building and training. The private sector can help engage with cities by collaborating and building capital structures together at the local and regional levels. Many of the next-generation projects will require markets to be shaped differently, and policymakers need to have the courage to adapt. Overall, more community and stakeholder engagement is needed to address the systemic problems.

·Cities should be able to create a financial structure that can effectively leverage private capital. Cities will benefit from learning how to engage private capital markets more effectively so that sustainable development projects can become more bankable for the private sector. On the other hand, the private sector needs to grasp the multilayered challenges cities face today and incorporate this into the solution propositions. Thomas brings up the example of a city that issued a green bond to help finance the city's sustainable green projects. For the city, this was just seen as another source of financing, but if the city had adequately leveraged this capital, they could have been getting four times as much from private sector involvement. Lack of financing ability continues to be a significant problem for many cities as they spend 'dollar for dollar' on projects instead of financing them. BwB continues to engage with many cities across Europe to help them find the most innovative scalable solutions. BwB is currently helping an extensive network of European cities find and achieve the most innovative finance solutions. BwB believes in accelerating European cities towards carbon-neutrality and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Keep up to date with our BwB Talk Series on our LinkedIn and Twitter. The BwB Talk Series is done periodically through the BwB network and brings together innovative thought leaders to speak with stakeholders around climate and finance issues. The BwB Talk Series supports collaborative and iterative conversations with people worldwide. Please direct any questions or requests for additional information to or your usual BwB contact.

Bankers without Boundaries, an innovator in finance, is a not for profit powered by former investment bankers to assist high impact projects that benefit the environment and social good. BwB works with local and sub- and national governments, cities, institutions, and foundations to mobilize capital advisory and research services. BwB applies financial concepts and structuring to public projects to align them with the investment needs of capital markets, thinking about risk reduction, scaling and generation of financial returns alongside broader positive co-benefits and impacts. To learn more about Bankers without Boundaries and our work, visit

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