LIFE Projects shine at Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum 2023: advancing the Green Deal and Clean Energy Transition

The recent Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum – Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place highlighted the efforts of cities and regions and the key role of LIFE and Horizon 2020 projects in driving the clean energy transition and climate adaptation.

The 2023 Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum – Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place in Brussels on 25th October 2023 was a resounding success, with more than 450 participants. A large majority of 350 stakeholders joined the event on-site. This resulted in lively discussions during the breakout sessions and intensive networking throughout the event. Once again, this illustrated the high interest in the forum and its pivotal role in fostering discussions around energy efficiency, climate adaptation and finance.

The opening session of the Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum – Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place, gathered high-level representatives from cities, the investment community and the European Commission. They emphasised the vital role that cities and regions play in the implementing phase of the EU Green Deal and, in particular, the urgency of accelerating the Clean Energy Transition and climate adaptation at the local level.

The highlight of the forum was the presentation of 15 remarkable projects, financed through Horizon 2020LIFE Clean Energy Transition and LIFE Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, as well as Smart Cities Marketplace and ELENA. Grouped under three main themes, each project revealed creative ways to strengthen climate resilience and boost finance into energy efficiency solutions.

  1. Cities and regions at the centre of the Clean Energy Transition and climate adaptation

The REMARKABLE Climate Leaders project is a standout example of the vital role cities and regions play in driving the Clean Energy Transition. The project aims to boost investments in carbon neutrality across seven European regions. This project empowers local leaders through its Climate Leadership Programme (CLP), training 320 climate leaders from different sectors to work on innovative strategies to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

  1. Mobilising sustainable energy investments in the public and private sectors

The UP-STAIRS exemplifies the pivotal role of mobilising sustainable energy investments and nurturing the growth of energy communities. The project introduces energy community One-Stop-Shops (OSS) across Europe, focusing on energy efficiency and renewables. The Barcelona Metropolitan Area, for example, has established an OSS for citizens and businesses to initiate energy projects. In Austria, the OÖ Energiesparverband has supported more than a thousand citizens and municipalities and fostered more than a hundred Renewable Energy Communities.

  1. Emerging approaches to boost energy efficiency finance

SMARTER4EU, a LIFE project building on the success of the Horizon 2020 project SMARTER Finance for Families, was one of the projects present to demonstrate emerging approaches to boost energy efficiency finance. The project presented its innovative approach to enhancing energy security and improving citizens’ lives. By sharing knowledge and tools, it demonstrated how green home certification systems can maintain essential green criteria while improving energy performance. This project marks a significant step forward in creating a more sustainable and secure energy future, benefiting both citizens and communities.

The Forum’s closing session re-emphasised the vital role played by local and regional authorities in propelling the EU Green Deal, acknowledging them as the primary drivers of change at the community level. Speakers agreed that the keyword of the day was “implementation.” Local and regional authorities are essential allies in carrying out these initiatives, as they foster collaboration and tackle resource limitations.

Recordings of all the sessions – including the project presentations – as well as the event’s proceedings, will soon be available here.

The event was jointly organised by CINEA and the European Commission (DG Energy and DG Climate Action) in collaboration with the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy – Europe Office.

Source: European Commission | European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (