Discussing green financing with stakeholders in Croatia

Date: 03.06.2024

The 2nd National Roundtable (NRT) session took place on May 15, 2024, at the Hotel Esplanade in Zagreb, Croatia. The session focused on financial instruments and standards for energy efficiency projects, with participants from local authorities, commercial banks, financing consultancies, stock exchanges and other finance industry stakeholders.

Key Discussions:

The NRT session explored the financial gaps in Croatia’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), investment needs for 2030 goals, and the limited scope of public grant funds, which cover only 20% of required investments. This shortfall necessitates significant private sector funding through capital markets, innovative financial instruments, and public-private partnerships (PPPs) for Energy Service Company (ESCO) financing.

Main Points:

  • The City of Vrbovec highlighted issues with the ZNS mechanism, noting reimbursement requirements slowed projects, while the Urban Development Fund’s streamlined procedures were praised.
  • Banks like PBZ and HPB discussed EU Taxonomy requirements and the need for clients to align with ESG standards, with workshops already in progress.
  • The importance of risk assessment and the need for digital solutions for risk data were emphasized.
  • Despite awareness, there are currently no issuers of green bonds in Croatia’s capital market. Municipal green bonds could be a future solution for local government EE project financing.


  • Grant-based funding models are insufficient for national decarbonization goals; financial instruments supported by loan repayments from energy savings are more viable.
  • High levels of non-repayable co-financing could be reduced while still encouraging investments in energy efficiency.
  • The ESCO model by APN is viable but needs more financial allocation.
  • Fiscal incentives could promote energy renovation, but their impact on municipal revenues needs projection.
  • Green bonds are appealing but face competition from lower loan interest rates. Despite higher costs and reporting requirements, they should be encouraged through tax incentives.

The session underscored the need for diversified financing strategies, increased private sector involvement, and innovative financial instruments to support energy efficiency and sustainability goals.