Local energy efficiency and sustainability policies are mostly defined by the EU legal framework, how it is interpreted by cities and regions and how they will turn it into regional or local measures. Cities and regions across Europe are key in leading and achieving EU climate targets. The result is that more often than not, they will implement more ambitious measures than they are required to. At the municipal level, voluntary signatories of the Covenant of Mayors (CoM) need to design their own policy framework to achieve the sustainability and climate targets, called Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs).
Cities and regions can be left with doubts when dealing with EU directives and how to translate them at local levels and find financing to implement the measures. The EU-funded project PROSPECT focuses on how to finance the energy transition, with a peer to peer learning programme and study visits for cities and regions. How best to learn how to proceed than by hearing what peers do and what they learnt from it? PROSPECT matches mentors and mentees in a programme started in June 2017 and closing this year.
PROSPECT aims at encouraging the exchange of knowledge and experience on innovative financing schemes used to implement SECAPs and sustainable measures.
By innovative financing schemes, PROSPECT refers to non-traditional ways of raising funds and facilitating sustainable energy and climate investments by mixing different sources (own fund, public and private funds) or engaging different partners (e.g. citizens, private sector) outside of established financial institutions (e.g. banks). These innovative financing schemes include energy performance contracting, third party financing, revolving funds, soft loans, green bonds, guarantee funds, and citizen finance, such as cooperatives and crowdfunding.
PROSPECT’s added value comes from the free learning programme not being limited to a capacity-building process but following the project steps of energy efficiency finance from the first stages of its development to monitoring its sustainable operation.
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