Guidance for cities and local authorities
The present guidance is intended as a supporting tool for the main actors at EU, national, regional, metropolitan and urban level to identify, integrate and improve traditional and innovative financing schemes dedicated to the implementation of air quality measures. In doing so, the guidance seeks to
highlight opportunities to leverage the involvement of both private and public financial resources.
AQPs can draw upon a wide range of interventions to reach their intended objectives. For instance, it is possible to nudge citizens towards more environmentally friendly behaviours via incentives (e.g. charges, tax credits, etc.). Alternatively, the actors introducing the AQP may directly support an investment plan targeted at air quality improvement (e.g. transport infrastructure planning, energy efficiency improvements, etc.). All these activities require resources to be deployed coherently with the available financial resources as well as the timeframes and aims of the AQP measures.
Local governments have different economic issues to take into account in the design and implementation of AQPs. For this reason, a thorough analysis to identify sources of funding for measures included in the action plans is needed. This is especially crucial at a time when access to finance for local authorities is particularly problematic. The cost of developing and implementing interventions within an AQP are often huge and are borne upfront while the economic, social and environmental benefits tend to be accrued over a longer period.
This guidance takes into account common technical and financial needs across local authorities. It also sets out how a multi-city financial instrument providing standardised solutions and delivery models could be a viable solution to support the achievement of urban air quality objectives.
The document leverages on the experience from the draft AQP prepared by the City of Milan and from the experiences shared by the members of the Urban Agenda – Partnership for Air Quality.