The 2020 theme “Financing for Change” will respond to the growing acknowledgement worldwide that to tackle climate change, city-scale finance must be mobilised. Local finance will give subnational actors access to the resources they need to harness the emission reduction potential in cities, and to respond effectively to climate change impacts that manifest at the local level. As national governments are essential in unlocking international and national funding for local action, mobilising finance cannot occur without effective multi-level governance. Improved multi-level governance and increased finance flow to the local level will speed up implementation of current national and international climate change commitments, as well as increase the ambition of these commitments. This is essential if we are to keep global warming below 1.5 °C, a threshold scientists have warned against crossing.