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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article20 February 20206 min read

Celebrating a succesful edition of the Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum - Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place

On the 18th and 19th of February 2020, the third edition of the Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum - Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place took place in Brussels.

Convenant of Mayors

More than 600 representatives from local authorities, industry and financial institutions were present, making this the biggest edition to date. 

The participants could hear from a total of 44 front-runner projects and initiatives on financing climate adaptation, energy efficiency, clean mobility and innovative energy planning from Europe and beyond. The conference confirmed once again the value and interest in peers’ experiences that inspire other cities and regions to replicate, upscale and support their local contributions to Europe’s decarbonisation and climate-resilience. 

The event opened with welcome speeches by Julien Guerrier, the Director of the Executive Agency from Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director General for Energy (DG ENER), and Clara De La Torre, Deputy Director General for Climate Action. Mohamed Ridouani, mayor of Leuven, gave a keynote speech on the role of public authorities in the energy transition, by presenting his city’s outstanding effort to become completely carbon neutral by 2050.  

The panel discussion that followed deepened the debate on blending public and private funds in energy efficiency investment. The speakers discussed how energy efficiency can benefit from such blending, with a background of the new lending policy of the European Investment Bank, the EU sustainable finance agenda coordinated by DG FISMA of the European Commission as well as views from the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group and private investors. 

Three horizontal workshops have been co-organised by DG ENER and EASME. The first one, Engaging cities, industry and financial institutions in a 'renovation wave' of private and public buildings, gathered 80 stakeholders from the building value chain to give input to the European Commission’s initiative to accelerate the rate of renovation. Issues discussed included the role of local actors in bringing projects to reality; how to deal with the specificity of social housing, schools and hospitals, which are central to the renovation wave; and the market needs which should be addressed by the proposed open platform in a participatory manner. The second workshop, Smart Cities & Communities – what’s next?, focussed on the future developments of the Smart Cities & Communities call, bridging to the matchmaking event which took place on 20 February, back to back with the main conference. Finally, Support to clean energy transition in the next MFF – focus on LIFE and HORIZON EUROPE, gave participants some insights on future EU funding for energy efficiency. 

In six breakout sessions, 44 flagship projects and initiatives from across Europe shared and discussed their achievements. A few examples include:

  • the City of Leuven in Belgium pioneering on how a collaborative approach of involving public and private stakeholders has proved highly effective on driving an energy transition towards a climate neutral city. 
  • the City of Vienna in Austria boosting the quantity as well as the quality of building renovation through establishing a one-stop-shop service for residential property refurbishment under the RenoBooster project. A test phase with 40 houses will be launched at the end of 2020.  
  • the Innovate project setting up 11 one-stop-shop pilots in 10 countries targeting the residential building sector. Currently various financing schemes are being mobilized in close cooperation with local financing institutions. 
  • In Poland a commercial bank BNP Paribas running the Energy Efficiency Finance Facility for Residential Buildings (EEFFRB) providing technical assistance to housing associations with support from the ELENA programme. Currently, there are 72 projects in the pipeline and the goal is to reach 800 projects with an investment of 78 MEUR (2019 – 2022). 
  • The  Smarter Finance for Families project focusing on the green mortgage market. After good progress in Romania, over 10 implementing partner countries have prepared locally adapted "toolkits" and are now contacting banks and residential developers to launch their Green Homes & Green Mortgage programmes.

The event closed with an official inauguration of the European City Facility, which will support European cities with financial (EUR 60,000 grant) and technical support, in order to transform their energy and climate strategies into real investments. The first call will open in May 2020, with all information available soon on the initiative website. 

The conference proceedings including videos from the plenary sessions and all presentations will be uploaded shortly on the Sustainable Energy Investment Forum webpage. 

Final Proceedings

To access the final Proceedings, click here.

To watch the event's video, click here.


If you missed any of the sessions or if you would like to revise some of their content you can download all presentations below:

1st Breakout session

2nd Breakout session

3rd Breakout session

4th Breakout session

5th Breakout session

6th Breakout session

Horizontal sessions


Publication date
20 February 2020