Game Changer Fund Launch

Update as of April, 2021

This RFP is now closed and CNCA is not currently accepting additional LOIs or proposals. Letters of Interest were due on 17 March, 2021. The committee has evaluated those received and invited 7 full proposals for consideration. 

For Immediate Release
February 15, 2021

CNCA Launches New Fund to Support “Game Changing” Climate Policies in Cities

Today, the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) announces the launch of a new multi-million dollar fund called the
Game Changer Fund to mobilize the development, adoption and implementation of game-changing climate policies in cities around the world.

As leading global cities working to achieve carbon neutrality in the next 10-20 years, we know what’s needed: a fundamental transformation of the systems that caused the climate crisis. 

Incremental change focused on technical solutions is insufficient. To meet our bold goals, we need actions that shift the fundamental attributes of the systems that created these crises, which CNCA calls “Game Changers”.

This work requires political courage and innovation, and it is often difficult to justify spending taxpayer dollars. That’s why CNCA is launching this new fund now, to support jurisdictions willing to dramatically scale up five areas that we’ve identified require significant policy adoption and implementation in the next three years.

We’re leading with the most overlooked Game Changer category: Regenerative Systems and Economies. As the last year has demonstrated, the economic systems we relied on pre-COVID depended on the unsustainable exploitation of human and natural capital and are no longer sustainable. Additionally, we know from the latest IPCC reports that simply eliminating fossil fuels will not be enough; we must also draw down carbon from the atmosphere.

Thanks to funding from the Kresge Foundation, Summit Foundation, Barr Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, today we are releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) that opens up funding for any city or Indigenous Peoples government willing to adopt and implement ambitious policies that reduce embodied carbon; use nature-based solutions to draw down carbon from the atmosphere; reduce consumption-based emissions; or take circular approaches to eliminating waste.

This RFP complements a three-year project CNCA launched last month with a 2 million grant from the Laudes Foundation to dramatically reduce embodied carbon in the built environment across Europe.

Four other Game Changer categories will be launched as funding becomes available:

  1. Decarbonizing Buildings
    • The problem: Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global GHG emissions, and without more ambitious policies than those in place today, this will increase by another 50% by 2050.
    • The solutions: Incentivizing or requiring deep energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings; mandating zero emission standards in new construction; electrifying buildings – especially moving away from “natural” gas; and increasing the uptake of distributed and utility-scale renewable energy.
  2. Decarbonizing Transport
    • The problem: Transportation accounts for 25% of global emissions, and if things don’t change, transportation-related emissions will rise by 60% between now and 2050.
    • The solutions: Wide-scale adoption of zero-emission mobility; implementing congestion pricing; reforming parking pricing; putting ultra-low emission zones in place to dramatically reduce the use of fossil-fueled vehicles, traffic and air pollution; and moving toward zero-emission freight and deliveries.
  3. Transformative Governance
    • The problem: For too long, governments have perpetuated harmful, extractive systems that exploited natural resources at unsustainable levels and perpetuated social inequities and climate injustice. 
    • The solutions: Adopting “carbon budgets” that account for emissions the same way we do fiscal budgets; and adopting systems for centering equity and climate justice in climate work.
  4. Carbon Neutral Districts
    • The problem: There are far too few examples of what it looks like to zero out emissions across entire neighborhoods.
    • The solution: Carbon Neutral Districts apply a systems-based approach by addressing emissions from multiple sectors at once (energy supply, buildings, transportation, waste, etc.), proving the “art of the possible.”

More details about funding priorities and targeted outcomes can be found at:

Over the next three years, CNCA will be focused on helping as many cities as possible adopt and implement these game changing policies. CNCA’s new Game Changer Fund is intent on building cities for the 22nd Century: cities that will not only survive climate impacts but thrive far into the future.


Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance

The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance is a collaboration of leading global cities achieving carbon neutrality in the next 10-20 years — the most aggressive GHG reduction targets undertaken anywhere by any city. While it is possible for cities to achieve their interim carbon reduction targets through incremental improvements to existing systems, achieving carbon neutrality requires radical, transformative changes to core city systems. CNCA’s mission is to mobilize transformative climate action in cities in order to achieve prosperity, social equity, resilience and better quality of life for all on a thriving planet.