Horizon Europe┋Unlocking of financial resources for investments into climate resilience
Projects results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- An increased leveraging of finance into climate resilience investments in the context of the Mission Adaptation to Climate Change.
- An increased and improved range of investment concepts that are proven to have helped public authorities in leveraging finance into climate resilience investments.
- An increased capacity of public authority staff for developing investible climate resilience projects.
- A better understanding of mechanisms that would accelerate the transformation of the economic system and financial sector to internalise and reward climate resilient investments.
This topic contributes to the three objective of the Mission and corresponds to one of the thematic research and innovation areas described in the Mission Implementation Plan aiming to mobilise and improve the articulation of funding and financing from various public and private sources at different levels (EU, national, regional and local).
This topic is expected to support regions and communities participating in the Mission with developing investment strategies, including identifying, innovating and, to the extent possible testing, solutions that help to mobilise financing and resources, throughout their transformational journey to climate resilience. The applied research and the experimentation with innovative solutions as further outlined below should be at the centre of the project.
The mobilisation of significant financial resources is key in addressing the climate resilience challenge. The economic case for investing in climate adaptation is powerful, with cost-benefit ratios ranging from 1:2 to 1:10 whereas early action on adaptation brings a “triple dividend” of avoided losses, economic and socio-environmental benefits. Yet, the investment gap in climate adaptation, with investment needs in the EU estimated to range between EUR 35 billion and 500 billion annually, is reportedly one of the most important barriers to further progress towards climate resilience. Reasons for this include large upfront costs, difficulties with internalising benefits and insufficient incentives to attract private investors under the existing market architecture where short-term mind-set makes investing for the future difficult, as well as a lack of capacity to identify, combine, apply for and negotiate the various financing streams at local and regional level,.
To address these challenges, the proposal is expected to:
- Provide direct pragmatic, hands-on advisory support to the regions and communities on how to mobilise, access and combine in practice various financing sources for climate resilience.
- Undertake research and test innovative financing solutions using the activities ongoing in the regions and communities as case studies to better understand their success factors and boundary conditions and to explore and experiment with new innovative ways of mobilising and financing for climate resilience, feeding this information back to all regions and communities.
- While undertaking the above, to ensure synergies between the Mission and other relevant programmes and initiatives engaged in mobilisation and articulation of finances for climate resilience transformations at local, national, and European level and to share relevant knowledge and experience made in the Mission more broadly.
Regarding the provision of direct support to the regions and communities, and the Mission’s aim to help facilitate the translation of adaptation strategies into investments on the ground, the proposal should cover a broad range of financing approaches, mechanisms and initiatives, from different governmental levels and private sources, covering as much as possible all innovation areas of the Mission, including but not limited to:
- Develop, for and with at least 20 EU regions or communities, innovative investment strategies covering identification of a potential project pipeline, financial, economic, legal and governance analysis and design of the process to launch investments;
- Provide hands-on technical and financial expertise, inspired by best practices across Europe to deliver at least 10 credible and scalable investment plans, from the above 20 regions or communities;
- Build the capacity of at least 20 public authority staff (one in each of the regions or communities) to design, develop and implement bankable projects on climate resilience, and provide them with the necessary tools (e.g. models, data), knowledge and networking opportunities;
- Hold at least 4 webinars addressed to regions and communities all over Europe (as many as possible should participate), on how to design bankable projects and to identify, apply for and negotiate various financing streams, and provide them with tools, networking and knowledge transfer.
Regarding the undertaking of research and testing of innovative solutions, the proposal should use the opportunities offered by the Mission’s endeavour and its activities ongoing in the regions and communities as test bed and should use activities related to the mobilisation of resources across the Mission’s geographical scope as case-studies to:
- Understand how best to employ the various approaches of financing in different geographical, cultural, social, political, economic, and environmental contexts.
- Identify barriers to the mobilisation of financing for climate resilience, carry out research into those and develop recommendations on how best to address them.
- To the extent possible, test and experiment with innovative finance solutions.
- Explore mechanisms that would accelerate the transformation of the economic system and financial sector to internalise and reward climate resilient investments. This should involve cooperation with the financial sector.
- Test the above (recommendations to address barriers, mechanisms and integration of the macroeconomic impacts into models and tools) with at least 3 banks/financial services providers over at least 3 regions or communities, and explore innovative credit/financial scoring with the aim of integrating climate resilience perspective into assessment criteria.
Regarding the synergies between the Mission and other relevant initiatives aiming at the mobilisation of finances and resources for climate adaptation and resilience, the proposal should:
- Establish links and build on the various other relevant programmes and initiatives, such as the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities and the European Cities Facility (EUCF).
- Build synergies in particular with the EIB’s announced Climate Adaptation Investment Advisory platform (ADAPT) that is to provide advisory services that have the potential to strengthen climate resilience of cities, infrastructure networks, coastal areas and river basins, farming practices and other vulnerable activities.
- Support the Mission Implementation Platform in making accessible the different potential funding sources for climate resilience related activities and possible financial designs for climate resilience portfolios.
- Learn from and complement the efforts of the projects related to the Mission funded under the Green Deal Call and the call HORIZON-MISS-2021-CLIMA-01, as well as to relevant projects and structures of other Missions, such as the NetZeroCities project and the Cities Mission Platform.
The main sources of funding to be considered in the context of this topic include (i) governmental sources, mostly grants including EU funding instruments, national, regional and local budgets; (ii) banks and other financial institutions providing loans and guarantees, either directly or in partnership with local retail banks; and (iii) private stakeholders, including foundations, real estate developers, companies, individuals (e.g. via crowdfunding or as house owners).
In line with the overall principles of the Mission, proposals should take in full consideration the local dimension of climate change and climate adaptation strategies, clarify how they would ensure a meaningful engagement with local communities as well as stakeholders to ensure, among others, the mobilization of local knowledge, and outline how they would contribute to achieving a just transition to climate resilience.
Proposals should include a process and criteria for how to identify the regions and communities most relevant to become test beds for the proposed solutions, starting from those where Mission relevant activities are already ongoing. Priority should be given to regions or communities with high vulnerability , limited resources and/or low adaptive capacity to climate change impacts. These criteria will ensure that a variety of locations are represented, in as many countries as possible, reflecting the diversity in climatic risks in Europe, as well as differences in socio-economic and demographic conditions, and in approaches to mitigating such risks. Such criteria should also take into account the characteristics of the populations concerned and the vulnerability of the locations, as well as the priority attributed by the national and regional governments. Consultation of national and/or regional governments in selecting the regions and communities is recommended (for example, by providing a letter of support by the relevant authorities as an annex to the proposal).
The European Commission intends to establish a network and coordination activities amongst all the projects funded for the implementation of the Climate adaptation Mission, under the Horizon 2020 European Green Deal call and under Horizon Europe relevant for adaptation, and that will be coordinated by the soon to be established Mission Implementation Platform. These networking and joint activities could, for example, involve the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices, or joint communication activities. The project under this topic will be requested to contribute to this effort. Applicants should acknowledge this request and already account for these obligations in their proposal, making adequate provisions in terms of resources and budget to engage and collaborate with the Mission governance.
Social sciences and humanities
Regions and communities which should not necessarily be beneficiaries in the consortium, however they should be strongly connected to the work and the support that the consortium will provide
REGILIENCE, ARSINOE, IMPETUS, TransforAr