High-level Conference on Clean Energy Financing

The European Parliament is hosting today a high-level conference on financing the shift towards Clean Energy. So far, the EU has created a number of useful and successful instruments promoting the clean energy transition. To maximise these efforts, it is important to enhance the instruments that have been successful and abandon those that are not. Here are my suggestions for clean energy financing under the next post-2020 multi-annual financial framework (MFF).

  1. The energy transition is more than just technology, it is a societal change

We need to establish new partnerships that go beyond governments. The European Union’s next budget needs a dedicated fund for energy transition to support directly citizens, cities and progressive businesses who embrace the transition. We need an instrument to encourage these initiatives and make the EU visible in support of these actors of change.

  1. Dedicated funds for energy efficiency

Renovating the EU’s old inefficient building stock is Europe’s biggest job creation machine and helps to diminish energy poverty and our gas and oil import dependency. At least 40% of structural funds should be earmarked for measures linked to energy poverty and energy efficiency. EFSI could establish a dedicated 50 billion platform combined with enhanced technical assistance. And more cooperation between EIB and other promotional banks should be established.

  1. Stop financing fossil fuel infrastructure in EU and abroad

EU funds must stop financing climate-harmful fossil gas infrastructure. CEF should be transformed into a fund combining electricity infrastructure, renewables and e-mobility. Moreover, Europe should adopt a CO2 tax, as has been done for example in Denmark with a great success.

  1. Reduce capital costs for renewables

If we want to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement and become the leader in renewable energy technology, we need at least a 40% target for renewable energy by 2030. The EU needs a list of renewable energy projects of European interest (RPEI) and a de-risking fund to reduce capital costs for renewables, notably in South-Eastern European countries penalised by high interest rates on the financial markets.

  1. More money for a just transition

Everybody knows that coal is over, meaning the EU should take care of the social transition in the concerned regions. These regions and the workers involved must get an easy access to EU funds to help them develop a future without coal, as well as a network of experts to support this reconversion.

  1. A global green tech strategy

The EU needs a strategy to promote our excellence in green city planning and in systemic integration of green technology. Electric cars, smart meters and charging infrastructure are at the core of the innovation and Europe should make sure to stay in the lead. This can be done by using the global covenant of mayors and the European Fund for External Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD).

  1. A European industrial policy

This is indispensable to allow the EU keeping or gaining global leadership on strategic sectors like electric cars, batteries, next generation photovoltaic cells and modules, IT equipment.

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