Public Banks and Regional Governments: Paving the Way for a Green Europe - EAPB's
Thought-Provoking Session at the European Week of Regions and Cities
On October 11, 2023, the SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre was the stage for a compelling session organized by the European Association of Public Banks (EAPB) during the European Week of Regions and Cities. The session, titled 'Public Banks and Regional-Local Governments for Energy Security and a Green, Sustainable Europe,' united a distinguished panel of experts to delve into the pivotal topic of 'Local Energy Shift for Security and Sustainability.'
The session featured notable experts, including Mari Tyster, Executive Vice President at Municipality Finance Plc (MuniFin), who shared insights into innovative financing approaches for sustainable energy projects. Christoph Schnaudigel, President of the County of Karlsruhe, offered perspectives on the regional dimension of transitioning to renewable energies. Additionally, Aron Kerpel-Fronius, Policy Officer, at the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) discussed the institution's overarching strategies. Guiding the discussion as the moderator was Anna Gumbau, an Energy and Climate Journalist with a wealth of experience in covering environmental issues.
As the session unfolded, the experts explored the imperative of energy transition for climate security. At the forefront of the European Union's goals is the drive for an Energy Transition that ensures Climate Security. Governments are tasked with actively supporting research, establishing renewable energy targets, and fostering collaboration with both public and private entities. In this pursuit, Public Banks emerge as instrumental players, providing essential financial support for sustainable energy projects at the regional level, thus alleviating economic burdens and ensuring affordability.
Public Banks, as highlighted in the discussion, stand out as catalysts in the shift towards renewable energies, showcasing their impactful role on both national and regional fronts in Europe. This event aimed to shed light on the challenges embedded in this transition while underscoring the necessity of a robust support structure.
Efficiency and flexibility in fund usage emerged as paramount for maintaining consistency and sustainability across different levels. Clear terminology, the integration of digital solutions for streamlined processes, and flexibility in fund deployment were identified as key components. The coordination among EU funds was highlighted as critical for their effective utilization. It was also highlighted that the Green taxonomy has to be manageable in practice and has to recognize the public sector and its specificities. Moreover State aid rules, such as the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, should be adapted to further allow public investments for the green and digital transition and meet the broader needs for a sustainable energy production.
As the complexities of the energy landscape are navigated, it becomes increasingly evident that collaboration, clear strategies, and innovative financial mechanisms, championed by Public Banks, are indispensable for achieving a green, sustainable and sovereign Europe. The journey continues, and EAPB eagerly anticipates ongoing collaboration in shaping a sustainable and secure energy future for Europe.
Pictures of the session are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eapb/albums/72177720312030290
#EAPB #EURegionsWeek #SustainableEnergy #GreenTransition
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