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Local-level investment in green infrastructure and innovation will be key to curbing the effects of climate change yet subnational governments – such as city, state and municipal authorities – have barely increased their climate-related spending and investment since 2000.

OECD analysis presented today at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco using estimates of subnational public spending and investment related to climate shows that levels remain very low relative to GDP and have barely risen even in real terms.

In the 30 countries studied, cities and regions were behind 55% of spending and 64% of investment in sectors that directly affect climate change over 2000-16. Yet subnational climate-related spending amounted to just 1.3% of GDP on average over 2000-16, and subnational climate-related investment was just 0.4% of GDP over the period.

The findings will feed into a report on financing green infrastructure to be published by the OECD, UN Environment and World Bank Group ahead of the COP24 climate talks in Poland in December.

Led by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the OECD Champion Mayors coalition of 50 mayors affirmed their commitment at the Summit to taking action at local level to combat climate change.

Download preliminary findings of Financing climate objectives in cities and regions

Read more on the joint initiative, Financing Climate Futures: Rethinking Infrastructure 

OECD-Champion Mayors