Financing opportunities for Sustainable Energy & Climate Action Plans

Access to financing is key for transforming ambitious Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plans into projects. Climate finance will facilitate investments and help enable beneficiaries to better access finance mechanisms, leading to the implementation of concrete and sustainable actions at national and local level.

The funding page supports the Covenant of Mayors for the Mediterranean community with clear and practical information on funding and financing opportunities.

The funding guide gathers information on the funding initiatives managed by key financial institutions in the Mediterranean region and the European Union. Next to these, the guide includes information about support services and innovative financing schemes.

The useful links section collects the most relevant financing publications for the Covenant of Mayors for the Mediterranean community including best cases examples and lessons learnt.

Investment projects in the area of climate and energy for cities show many similarities in principles and models with other (more traditional) investment projects. Understanding these aspects would be an important step for local authorities who will have to decide the most effective approach to implement the actions contained in their SEACAP(s).

Interactive funding guide


Please find below several useful links.

Financing models’ instruments:

  • Grant programs: IInvestment grants or interest rate subsidies are often provided by governments to support the upfront cost of energy efficiency projects that may entail too high investment costs and long amortisation periods. Public grant programmes are used in order to support energy efficiency projects that contribute to energy and social policies and meet other public policy goals. (Opec Fund, Norad)

  • Public-private partnerships (PPPs):Public-private partnerships involve collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company that can be used to finance, build, and operate projects, such as public transportation networks, parks, and convention centers.

  • Third-party financing: It is solely debt financing where the project financing comes from a third party, usually a financial institution or other investor, or the ESCO, which is not the user or customer.

  • Revolving funds: They are intended to establish sustainable financing for a set of investment projects and may include loans or grants and have the ambition of becoming self- sustainable after their first capitalisation. They can be established as a bank account of the owner or as a separate legal entity.

  • Green Bonds: Bond is a debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (typically corporate or governmental) which borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a variable or fixed interest rate. Bonds are issued by companies, municipalities, states and sovereign governments to raise money and finance their projects and activities. Green bonds are all those instruments which are used exclusively to fund qualifying green investments.

  • Cooperative models: REScoops are examples of cooperative models. REScoop is short for Renewable Energy Sources Cooperative. REScoops are citizen-led initiatives that develop projects for renewable energy and/or energy efficiency, sell renewable energy or provide services to new initiatives. The term REScoops does not just refer to cooperatives in the legal sense, it also encompasses community energy initiatives under any other legal statute.

  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is an emerging alternative source of financing. It refers to open calls to the public, generally via the internet, to finance a project through either a donation, a monetary contribution in exchange for a reward, product pre-ordering, lending, or investment.

Multilateral financing mechanisms and funds:

  • GEF – The Global Environment Facility (GEF): GEF was established on the eve of the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and supports action on sustainable development. The GEF provides support for adaptation and mitigation as well as capacity building (through, for example, funding for National Capacity Self Assessments) and the transfer of technologies. It houses the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Special Climate Change Fund and the GEF Small Grants Programme.

  • Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF): The LDCF supports adaptation activities in LDCs only and delivery of funds is via an implementing agency (UNEP, UNDP).

  • The GEF Small Grants Programme: The SGP implemented by the UNDP: The SGP provides financial and technical support to communities and Civil Society Organizations to meet the overall objective of global environmental benefits secured through community-based initiatives. (

  • The Adaptation Fund: The Fund addresses communities in developing countries adapt to climate change. Initiatives are based on country needs, views and priorities and access can be via the direct access modality or an implementing agency. (

  • The Kuwait Fund: The object of the Fund is to assist Arab and other developing countries in developing their economies. The Fund's operations are focused primarily on the sectors of agriculture and irrigation, transport and communications, energy, industry, water and sewage. (

  • The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD): Based in the State of Kuwait, AFESD is an Arab regional financial institution focused on funding economic and social development by financing public and private investment projects and providing grants and expertise. The Arab Fund's activities are characterized by a number of important aspects that make it a model of cooperation and Arab economic integration, and a reflection of outstanding joint Arab action. (

  • GEEREF: Advised by the European Investment Bank Group, GEEREF is an innovative Fund-of-Funds catalysing private sector capital into clean energy projects in developing countries and economies in transition. (

  • NEFCO Carbon Fund: NEFCO channels grants with favorable terms for projects that have a positive impact on the environment. The Arctic Council Project Support Instrument (PSI) is a financial initiative focusing on projects approved by the Arctic Council to prevent and reduce pollution of the Arctic. It uses a broad range of funding arrangements to include grants and revolving instruments such as leveraging loans. (

  • The Public – Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF): PPIAF is a multi-donor technical assistance facility that is financed by 15 multilateral and bilateral donors. Their primary objective is to help our clients build and strengthen institutions, develop capacity, and increase creditworthiness. Created in 1999 as a joint initiative of the governments of Japan and the United Kingdom, working closely with and housed inside the World Bank, PPIAF is a catalyst for increasing private sector participation in emerging markets.(

  • UK- International Climate Fund (ICF): The International Climate Fund (ICF) is the UK government’s commitment to developing countries to help them address the challenges presented by climate change and benefit from the opportunities. (

Development agencies:

  • The U. S Agency for International Development (USAID): The world's premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID provides money in aid to support development in countries around the world. (

  • Agence française pour le développement (AFD): The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group funds, supports and accelerates the transition to a fairer and more sustainable world. Focusing on climate, biodiversity, peace, education, urban development, health and governance, our teams carry out more than 4,000 projects in France’s overseas departments and territories and another 115 countries. In this way, we contribute to the commitment of France and French people to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (

  • Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ): GIZ works in thematically diverse projects and programmes in widely different countries throughout the world. Its goal is to develop sustainable and effective tailor-made solutions to challenging problems for the clients. (

  • United Nations Developement Programme (UNDP): UNDP advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It provides expert advice, training, and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. (

  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC): The SDC is the agency for international cooperation of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The SDC is responsible for the overall coordination with other federal authorities of development and cooperation with Eastern Europe as well as for humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation. (

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. (

  • United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO): is a specialized agency in the United Nations system, headquartered in Vienna, Austria. The Organization's primary objective is the promotion and acceleration of industrial development in developing countries and countries with economies in transition and the promotion of international industrial cooperation. (

  • Austrian Development Cooperation: Finance from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is available in the following cases: Projects/programmes under country and regional strategies, civil-society engagement, private sector & development, humanitarian aid. (

  • Belgian Development Agency (ENABLE): is a European player enhancing the impact of Belgium in international development. As a knowledge center, it thinks and acts in terms of strategy and policy influence to promote sustainable development. (

  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA):Sida is Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation. Through cooperation with civil society, multilateral organisations, public agencies and the private sector we work for sustainable development and help create conditions for people living in poverty and oppression to improve their living conditions. (

  • Institut européen de coopération et de développement (IECD): IECD creates environments conducive to the development of each person, and necessary conditions to allow those willing to do so to act on a social, professional and institutional level. By acquiring the necessary know-how, they will be able to transform their existence and to become responsible actors in their country. IECD believes that in this manner, they will have a positive impact on society and contribute to it becoming more equitable. (


  • International Finance Corporation (IFC): IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. IFC is helping change that by supporting the Middle East and North Africa region’s private sector, a potentially bountiful source of jobs and innovation. (

  • Citigroup Foundation (Citi): Citibank N.A Lebanon has evolved into an active corporate citizen with a particular interest in supporting financial education, inclusive finance and capacity building through various grants provided annually through the Citi Foundation. Citibank operates as a branch of Citibank N.A. and is regulated by the Central Bank of Lebanon. (

  • The World Bank: Since 1947, the World Bank has funded over 12,000 development projects, via traditional loans, interest-free credits, and grants. (

  • Development Bank of Austria: The Development Bank of Austria finances investments of private companies in developing countries and emerging markets. They provide loans at near-market conditions, provide capital and increase the developmental effectiveness of our projects with related programs (

  • KfW Development Bank: KfW has been helping the German Federal Government to achieve its goals in development policy and international development cooperation for more than 50 years. On behalf of the German Federal Government, and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), it finances and supports programmes and projects that mainly involve public sector players in developing countries and emerging economies – from their conception and execution to monitoring their success. (

Useful links

Key publications including best practices from the Covenant of Mayors for the Mediterranean community, lessons learnt and useful reports from the main EU institutions are collected in this section.