European financing

Financing the energy revolution

Reaching the EU 2030 targets on climate and energy will require trillions of euros of publicly launched investments, more than half of which will come from local and regional authorities. Municipalities must continuously investigate new financing solutions to help them transition towards decentralised, sustainable energy regimes and undertake necessary climate action. Climate Alliance has thus made financing one of its policy priorities.

Boosting local capacity

Many European local authorities are in need of project development assistance that will help them develop bankable projects and access European financing programmes. Climate Alliance investigates which barriers prevent local authorities from finding adequate financing. Members are given a platform to discuss barriers such as debt restrictions, high transaction costs stemming from perceived risks, and scale (the need to bundle smaller projects) and learn from each other’s experiences. We also inform on new financing opportunities, including those coming from European financing programmes and the European Investment Bank, while regularly inviting members to connect with one another to find potential project partners.

Funding that makes sense

We at Climate Alliance want to ensure that investment flows coming from initiatives such as
the Juncker Investment Plan, including the European Fund for Strategic Investments, are channeled in the right direction so that they support ambitious climate and energy projects.

We believe that

  • European financing programmes such as Horizon2020, European Investment Bank initiatives and Regional Development or Cohesion funds must be made more accessible for smaller and medium-sized projects
  • Local projects in fields such as sustainable energy and adaptation to climate change should receive fast-track access to these programmes in order to reach both international climate goals and EU 2030-2050 targets
  • Energy efficiency must be considered as the leading criterion in the use of EU funds for energy projects
  • More pro-active support is needed in terms of technical assistance, project development assistance and advisory services to set up financial instruments at the local level

Climate Alliance is working towards these objectives by establishing strong ties to officials in the European Commission, European Parliament, Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank. At the same time, the Climate Alliance Working Group on Financing facilitates direct exchanges between members and European officials on the different financing programmes and instruments.

In the framework of Climate Alliance's work for the Covenant of Mayors initiative, a 'Quick Reference Guide' was developed to summarise the different EU financing programs for local climate and energy actions. 

More and more, innovative financing models are being implemented by local authorities across Europe. Climate Alliance tries to build capacities at the local level to get started with these under-utilised examples. As part of the CITYnvest project, 26 local case studies of new financing schemes for energy efficiency are compared to help you finding the most suitable model for your context. (Find your financing model).