Survey: 60% of 744 EU municipalities consider investments in climate mitigation insufficient

Survey: 60% of 744 EU municipalities consider investments in climate mitigation insufficient
07 / 07 / 2023
بقلم Marwa Nassar - -

The 2022 Municipality Survey – released by the European Investment Bank (EIB) – showed that 60% of the 744 European Union municipalities – covered by the survey – consider their investments in climate mitigation and adaptation infrastructure in the last three years to be insufficient.

Climate change mitigation, adaptation, and digital infrastructure play a central role in municipalities’ investment plans for the next three years.

The survey also showed that 69% of municipalities lack experts with environmental and climate assessment skills, posing a serious problem for the implementation of local investment programs.

The survey highlights the critical importance of providing necessary training to the current and future labour force. Municipalities report difficulties in securing experts with environmental and climate skills, as well as technical and engineering expertise. Addressing these challenges is essential for the successful execution of investment plans.

The survey also showed that around 80% of municipalities say a lack of funding, the length of regulatory processes and uncertainty about regulations are obstacles to investment.

The 2022 Municipality Survey underscored that a lack of funding, and uncertain and lengthy regulatory processes, continue to deter municipalities from planning crucial investments. Moreover, when it comes to implementation, a shortage of skilled labour and supply chain bottlenecks are significant constraints.

The survey also showed that European municipalities have come further with the digital transformation than they have with the green transition. While higher-income regions show a higher proportion of municipalities actively investing in both transitions, less developed regions face challenges in making similar progress.

This comprehensive survey provides unique insights into past and planned investments, as well as the challenges municipalities face in their digital and green transitions, and the progress they have made in these domains. Since municipalities account for almost half of public investment in the European Union, these findings are of the utmost importance.

 “As the EIB Municipality Survey reveals, municipalities across Europe face significant investment gaps, particularly in climate change mitigation and adaptation infrastructure. It is crucial for policymakers and stakeholders to address these gaps and prioritize sustainable and resilient investments for a greener and more digital future. The persistent lack of skills, including at the municipality level, must be addressed across Europe to enable the adequate implementation of regional and pan-European investment programs,” said EIB Chief Economist Debora Revoltella.

EIB Vice-PresidentRicardo Mourinho Felix added: “Municipal investments are key to providing consistent support for people and businesses. Given the significant proportion of public investments made by municipalities, it’s imperative that they are equipped with the necessary resources, expert knowledge, and strong cooperative networks for effective implementation. As the world evolves swiftly, municipalities’ roles in the green and digital transitions become ever more critical. To nurture sustainable practices across areas like urban planning, energy efficiency, waste management and transport, an enhancement of expertise throughout Europe is a necessity. Our EIB Municipality Survey provides insights into the adaptation strategies of municipalities and underlines the significant needs that must be addressed moving forward.”

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