Municipalities and local authorities are at the frontline of Europe’s energy transition, but often struggle to mobilise the financial resources required for sustainable energy investments.
Funded under Horizon 2020, the new European City Facility (EUCF) will step up here and provide support to cities in developing investment concepts! Offering tailor-made, rapid and simplified financial aid via a 60,000 EUR lump sum grant, as well as technical support and capacity building activities, the groundbreaking initiative aims at empowering local authorities to transform their ambitious energy and climate plans into real investments. “The facility is designed by cities, for cities, and it should allow them to think on how to use their money,” explains Claire Roumet, Executive Director of Energy Cities.
Local authorities often have limited financial and legal capacity to transform their long-term energy and climate strategies into appropriate investment concepts, and to aggregate small projects into attractive propositions. To assist, the EUCF will support municipalities, local authorities and their groupings to present potential investors with convincing cases!
In assisting cities in developing investment concepts, describing planned investment projects and involved stakeholders, and in providing a legal, economic and financial analysis, the EUCF will bridge cities towards fully-fledged business and financial plans to mobilise investments from the private sector, but also from public sources including the European Fund for Strategic Investments, European Structural and Investment Funds, various Project Development Assistance facilities (such as ELENA) or national investment platforms.
The application process is streamlined to avoid bureaucratic processes and to encourage small and medium sized municipalities to apply. Small cities are also encouraged to team up with others in order to bundle projects and blend funds. Successful applicants will gain support through country experts, who are able to advise municipalities in the language of the applicant on blending funds, innovative financing schemes, procurement and climate mainstreaming in municipal budgets.
“More and more cities are declaring climate emergencies, they want to become climate neutral and have grown much, much bolder with respect to where they want to land in the next years,” said Roumet. “Often, it is not about a lack of financial resources, but rather how to direct the investments into the right direction.” With Energy Cities as the coordinator, the initiative´s consortium combines three European networks, e.g. Climate Alliance and FEDARENE, with ENVIROS and adelphi on the operational side.
The first call will be launched in May 2020 via the EUCF website.
If you want to find out how to apply and more, join the webinar on 7 April (11:00 to 13:00 CET).