Joint Letter – Appropriate co-financing rate for LIFE CSA projects on sustainable energy

Representatives of cities, regions, energy agencies, cooperatives, NGOs, research institutes and Europe’s sustainable energy industry come together to call for an appropriate co-financing rate for CSA projects on sustainable energy.

Starting from 2021, funding for the “Coordination and Support Actions” (CSA) for the transition to renewable energy and increased energy efficiency will be transferred from Horizon to the LIFE programme. This transfer brings a considerable procedural change for beneficiaries, as well as potentially a large reduction of the co-financing rate.

To this end, the signatories of this letter – representing thousands of cities, regions, energy agencies, cooperatives, NGOs, SMEs and experts from across Europe’s renewable energy and energy efficiency value chains – call upon the European Commission and the LIFE Committee to set the co-financing rate for CSA projects at above 80% and as close to 100% as possible.

Only such level of co-funding would allow the above-mentioned organisations to continue their activities as:

  • National match funding for energy related topics exists only in a few countries and even then, is only accessible through competitive bidding with often conflicting timelines and evaluation criteria.
  • EU co-funding for CSA sustainable energy projects has been unique. CSA for sustainable energy are not pure research, and therefore do not attract research funds and early investors, nor are they market products attracting enterprises for investment.
  • The current H2020 rates for CSA encourage organisations to gain new competences, design bolder projects and develop new services for energy transition.
  • The impact of CSA-energy projects risks being compromised as experts would focus on securing match funding rather than the implementation of the actions.

CSA projects focused on market uptake of sustainable energy solutions, capacity building, policy dialogue, information, replication and networking activities. These projects prepared the ground for concrete investments and helped regions, cities and communities to transform their environmental and climate ambitions into action.

The signatories of the letter believe that under the right conditions, these actions can continue this momentum under the LIFE programme.