In the framework of their Sustainable Development Goal 17: Revitalizing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, the United Nations defines capacity building as "the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast-changing world".
Numerous EU programmes and initiatives, in all fields of economy and society, include capacity building and training components as one of their key success factors. This is of course also the case for programmes and initiatives in the fields of climate mitigation and adaptation, implemented at all levels of governance: European, national and local.
In the past decades, many studies and surveys have shown in a constant manner that European cities lack of internal capacities to implement their energy and climate projects and thus, to achieve their climate objectives and commitments. Their main capacity building needs are in human resources and skills, and in financial expertise, the first one being sometimes a barrier for some cities to access EU funding.
Source: Piqsels.com Public domain
This can be improved by the participation of civil servants to long-life learning programmes accessible in their country, as well as by their participation to EU twinning and peer-to-peer learning programmes, like the Covenant of Mayors Europe's peer-learning programme, the ManagEnergy' masterclasses and expert missions, or the H2020 PROSPECT+ capacity-building programme on innovative financing. Another noteworthy initiative in the field is the creation of the Civil Servant Exchange Programme (CSEP), proposed by students of the College of Europe in the framework of the European Citizens' Initiative.
As for capacity-building on financing, the EU has also developed a number of facilities to finance legal, technical and financial support for large-scale projects, among which: the Sustainable Energy Investment Forum, the InvestEU Advisory Hub, the European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) or the European City Facility (EUCF).