Poorer EU regions look to citizens to finance the green transition
(EurActiv, 16 Nov 2023) Deprived EU regions are looking at innovative solutions like crowdfunding and citizen-led energy communities to finance the transition to a net-zero economy.
As the EU moves forward with the green transition, some European regions fear being left behind in the face of the capital-intensive investments ahead.
Regions in countries like Romania and Bulgaria, where GDP per capita is below the EU average, often struggle to attract funding, explained Dumitru Fornea, a Romanian trade unionist who sits on the EU’s Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body.
And they’re not the only ones. “Spanish, and maybe Czech and Slovak” regions as well often struggle to attract green funding, Fornea told participants at a recent Euractiv event.
Financial markets care little for regions focused on declining manufacturing industries like coal and steel because they “don’t have a very attractive profile”, he explained.
EU experimenting with crowdfunding
But solutions may also be closer than they think – such as crowdfunding where “the workers themselves or the members of the community themselves contribute to a certain project,” says Fornea.