Realdania supports global climate network for cities until 2029

18. June 2024

With a new grant to the international climate network C40, Realdania is supporting the efforts to aid the world's cities and Danish municipalities in combating climate change until 2029.

With renewed funding granted to the international city network C40 until 2029, the philanthropic association Realdania continues its support for the development and implementation of policies and programmes that reduce the climate impact of cities and help cities adapt to climate change while also working to ensure that the mitigation effort is fair and inclusive for all. In this way, lessons learnt from climate-friendly projects in one part of the world can become tangible inspiration for cities on the other side of the globe. 

From C40 to 98 municipalities

The DK2020 initiative is a good example of this exchange in a Danish context. With this initiative, Local Government Denmark, the five Danish regions, and Realdania have supported Danish municipalities in developing climate action plans that fulfil the ambitions of the Paris Agreement based on C40's international standards. The network has also acted as a knowledge partner together with green think tank Concito. The climate action plans form the basis for initiatives and solutions that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors. At the same time, the municipalities are working holistically and long-term to adapt to the consequences of rising sea levels, extreme rainfall and more intense temperature fluctuations, among other things. All 98 Danish municipalities will soon have politically approved climate action plans. This is a globally unrivalled achievement.

"When Realdania joined C40 in 2014, we had great ambitions to make a difference globally, nationally and locally. Cities and municipalities have a special responsibility in relation to greenhouse gas emissions and based on the work done in C40 over a decade, it is our experience that the climate battle can only be won if we work together across sectors and support each other in this important endeavour. This also applies in Denmark, which is the country with the most actors – as in the state, foundations and companies – contributing to the work of the global climate network,” says Realdania’s CEO, Jesper Nygård.

International impact

Since 2014, Realdania has supported C40 as one of three strategic partners alongside the American organisation Bloomberg Philanthropies and the British foundation The Children's Investment Fund Foundation. During this period, it has become increasingly clear that cities are key players in the fight against climate change, and C40 has grown from a small NGO to a strong global network of cities with 400 employees around the world and significant international impact. This was evident, for example, when local policy solutions and experiences were incorporated in the political meetings and negotiations at COP28 in Dubai last year, where Danish municipalities and regions also participated and shared their work.

The new grant for C40, which runs until 2029, is $15 million (approximately DKK 105 million) spread over five years. It is also the start of a process in which Realdania and C40 will work to include new members to strengthen C40's board, of which Realdania has been a member since 2014.
"Realdania is proud to have been one of the driving forces behind an organisation like C40 for so many years. We have seen it as an important philanthropic task to support the organisation in gaining a foothold so that today it has a very strong position on the international stage. At the same time, our focus has been to bring the most advanced knowledge and tools for climate action to Denmark and to the Danish municipalities and regions. This is a task that we have decided to contribute to for another five years, after which we hope that others with new perspectives will step in and support C40 in the important effort to help the world's cities in the climate fight,” says Jesper Nygård.