Innovative ideas for climate action for Europe

The European Climate Initiative (EUKI) has provided funding for 157 projects in 31 countries since 2017. The projects are selected by means of an annual competition for ideas. The next round begins at the end of November.

Offene Hände halten eine Erdkugel aus Knete.© Adobe Stock / ximich_natali

With the help of the Green Deal, Europe intends to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and has set itself ambitious targets in order to achieve this. The current energy crisis is making it even more difficult to reach this milestone in Europe. The energy transition can only be a success if we all work together.

A good example of this is the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). It supports innovative ideas for climate action in Europe that demonstrate the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy in a practical way, support ambitious energy and climate policy, and promote European cohesion and international cooperation. The projects, which are funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action through the European Climate Initiative, enable stakeholders from civil society and state players working in climate action to collaborate.

Monitoring climate footprints and energy efficiency

What if, for instance, young professionals in companies all over Europe used their expert knowledge to pay attention to how energy consumption affects the climate, to how to save energy, and to how much energy is in fact consumed and where? Young Energy Europe 2.0, a project funded by the European Climate Initiative, is training young professionals from various sectors to become Energy Scouts.

In their companies, Energy Scouts analyse energy consumption, identify methods for saving energy, and develop practical projects to reduce the consumption of energy and resources. In preparation for this role, they first undergo training on how energy efficiency measures can reduce our impact on the environment and climate and also save costs for companies at the same time. Germany’s chambers of industry and commerce abroad in Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, with their business networks and experience in initial and further training, are partners in this European Climate Initiative project. At least 485 Energy Scouts are to be trained by March 2024.

Rooftop solar panel project funds renewables in cities in the Western Balkans

A further climate action venture under the EUKI is the rooftop solar panel project in the Balkans which boosts the use of solar energy in cities in Western Balkan countries (EU accession candidates) and will thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This also involves developing roadmaps for the construction of the municipal energy supply. These are to serve as guidelines for new municipal solar projects for SMEs and housing residents over the next two years. In addition, the project team and the cities of Kragujevac (Serbia), Poreč (Croatia) and Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) are launching a poster and social media campaign to engage local communities and companies in citizens' energy projects. This is because municipalities and citizens in many parts of the Western Balkans only think of themselves as consumers of energy and have little interest in the municipal energy system. There is a lack of support from both government and society for the development of municipal energy concepts.

From the launch of the 7th idea competition on 25 November, non-profit organisations in Europe can once again apply for funding. Since 2017, projects have received funding totalling €79 million.