EUKI Success Stories

Every day, many exciting things happen in more than 150 EUKI projects that advance climate action in Europe. While many completed projects continue to have an impact, ongoing projects spark new progress. Some stories stand out from the multitude of activities because they are particularly successful, others stand out because they have made a small but significant difference. We have put together a selection of success stories from the EUKI community, which will continue to grow over time.

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Where Do EU Funds Go?

The EUKI project "Steering EU Funds Towards Climate Neutrality" operates an interactive database listing only project examples from CEE that practice efficient climate protection. Already, more than 25 entries show where money is being invested that is advancing the energy transition. Already in the first ten months, the project has reached 56 million interested parties as well as acting politicians in 8 target countries. Through the growing transparency, EU funds can be distributed more efficiently and directed to climate-effective projects.
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Green Entrepreneurship

Just one year after the project started, the EUKI project "Panda Labs Junior for Just Transition" receives strategic support for its work from a Macedonian municipality and two Bulgarian cities. In Bitola, Macedonia, home to the largest coal-fired power plant in the country, a collaboration was signed with EUKI partner organisation JA Macedonia to promote a just transition to decarbonisation and green entrepreneurship. In the Bulgarian cities of Kyustendil and Pernik, WWF Bulgaria achieved that the cooperation will involve communities, schools and youth in decision-making processes in the future and support them in further climate action activities throughout the EUKI project.
German-Franco Energy Transition Week

Local Energy Transition in a City Tandem

In 2019, the first "Franco-German Energy Transition Week" took place in 70 cities in France and Germany. A second virtual edition was organized in 2021 by Energy Cities. The project launched the "Tandem" initiative, in which 15 French-German climate action partnerships are now leading local energy transition projects in their cities and communities. The cities of Metz and Worms were elected ‘champion partnership’ in 2019. They developed an Escape Game on climate change and conducted a joint study on heat islands and climate oases.
In 2021, 10 energy transition actions, including a participatory construction site on ecological renovation, were funded with support from the Franco-German Citizens' Fund.
Cyclurban Lessons Learned Success Story

Pedalling against Climate Change

15 organisations from Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia each developed 5-11 national and municipal policy recommendations for climate-friendly cycling policies as part of the Cyclurban project. All recommendations were accepted by the national authorities in the partner countries. The project has shown that despite common elements in the respective strategies, cities need to adapt existing methods and measures at the local level to make cycling a main pillar of climate-friendly mobility.

Taking Just Transition to the Next Level

More than 500 representatives from EU institutions, coal regions, companies, trade unions and NGOs gathered at the “EU Coal Regions in Transition Platform”. During the event, the EUKI project “Regions and Municipalities for a Just Transition” lifted the curtain for the findings of three reports on coal regions in Poland, Bulgaria and Greece. Project implementer WWF presented figures on jobs at risk and showed EU decision-makers the great potential for creating new jobs.
Wind turbine in the sunlight © pixabay

Unlocking Low Cost Renewables

The study “Unlocking Low Cost Renewables in South East Europe” by EUKI financed project “South East Europe Energy Transition Dialogue” demonstrated how a few political and financial measures can help to strongly “de-risk” investment in renewables. Its cost could be lowered by stunning 20%. For example, the cost for onshore wind could fall to 46 EUR/MWh in Greece, well below the cost of fossil power plant projects. The de-risking measures with the highest impact include the EU budget guarantee mechanism, reliable, long-term renewables remuneration regimes and long-term renewables targets. The recommendations were discussed with decision makers both bilaterally as well as during a final project workshop in June 2021.
Poland House Heating with Coal

A Breath of Fresh Air

"Clean Heat" developed a strategy to reduce air pollution in Poland. In the process, the Forum Energii team achieved sustainable results not only at the national, but also at the local level: The analyses conducted were published by the Polish Ministry of Climate in 2020 and contributed significantly to the decision to end coal in cities by 2030 and in villages by 2040.
Rumänische Jugendliche beim Summercamp Workshop

Back to the Roots

The REFE team organized a sustainability summer camp in Breb, Romania. More than 20 young people between the age of 12 and 21 learned through practical workshops how to raise their environmental awareness and reduce their ecological footprint. At the end of the summer camp, the young people underwent the second stage of the ecological footprint test. In this way, they were able to determine what they learned in the camp to reduce their energy consumption and in which areas they could still improve.
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Where’s my Green Money at?

The “Landscape of Climate Finance” project team managed to map approximately 23 billion Polish Złoty (5.2 billion Euro) of public and private funds allocated for low-carbon investments in the buildings sector in Poland between 2014 and 2019. The findings threw more light on the matter: Amongst other things they were utilised as an input for the national long-term renovation strategy in Poland.
Green Roof at ufaFabrik

Climate-friendly by Nature

Following the invitation of EUKI project “Nature-based Solutions (NBS) Poland”, Polish landscape planners, engineers and local government experts visited Berlin’s most creative applications of NBS in August 2020. These range from a university building with a nature-based air conditioning system to Rummelsburger Bucht, Berlin’s “Sponge City”. Impressed by the possibilities, the Polish guests dedicated a session at the international conference “Blue and Green Infrastructure for Urban Climate Change Mitigation 2020” to adopting some of these solutions in Polish cities.
Kids riding on stationary bikes to power the bike cinema

Bike Cinema

Using the bike cinema equipment provided by the BEACON project, seven bike cinema screenings with around 200 students were held across Bulgaria in Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo and Kilifarevo. By riding 10 bikes that powered a projector showing short films, students learned firsthand how much energy is required to power small devices and do everyday things.
Panoramic picture of the city of Sztum in Poland

Sztum Reduces Emissions

With support from the BEACON team, Polish city Sztum joined the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. As part of their strategic approach to climate change mitigation, the city has refurbished nine municipal buildings including the installation of LED lighting systems and photovoltaics on the roofs. Also, an additional 125 renewable energy systems have been installed in local households. These activities lead to CO2 emission reductions of approximately 485t and 606t per year respectively.