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The project GrEnFIn originates from the analysis of the role of the energy sector in the EU2030 strategy and its need to align to the low-carbon energy transition and circular economy goals of the European Union (EU). GrEnFIn is motivated by a robust demand from the market for a new professional profile, the Sustainable Energy Expert, able to assess the risks of the sector due to the exposure to fossil fuels resources, and to identify effective strategies for decarbonization by looking at the characteristics of the green energy market and new financial instruments to finance the transition. GrEnFIn stands for greening energy by promoting the transition to renewable energy sources, thus decarbonizing the EU economy, and the instruments to finance it, accounting for risk, returns and impacts. In line with the key elements of the Innovation Union, the key objectives of EU2030 strategy and the Modernisation Agenda objectives, the project has the aim of promoting high-level professionality and employability in the green energy sector through investment in knowledge and competences.
These are fundamental to shape and deliver the skills needed to "good professionals" in a sector which is reinventing itself in the respect of the EU and global sustainability agenda. The GrEnFIn educational approach is meant to address several challenges highlighted by the Final Report of the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG, January 2018) as regards the need to update academic and professional curricula to increase financial literacy on sustainability issues, and to update the curricula of professionals and their participation in educational programs. In particular, the HLEG highlights the tight relation between finance and sustainability. In addition, the HLEG recognizes the key role of finance in meeting the EU sustainability agenda, and the need to develop financial instruments and approaches to fill in the green investment gap, which is estimated in 180bn Euro/year in renewable energy investments only.
Decarbonizing the energy sector is fundamental to achieve the EU2030 targets as well as to comply with the Paris Agreement signed by the EU and aimed to limit global temperature increase to below 2 degrees C. Indeed, the energy sector alone contributes directly to 55% of emissions in the EU in 2015 but it also indirectly contributes to the generation of CO2 emissions from transport, agriculture and housing.