How blended finance can catalyse building renovation

A new whitepaper co-authored by EIT Climate-KIC’s German Innovation Lead, Ulrike Linnig, as well as experts from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), Bankers Without Boundaries and Politecnico di Milano, has been published. “How blended finance can catalyse building renovation” argues a successful response to the climate crisis is one in which the burden of change is distributed equally and outlines an approach to achieve this in the field of building retrofit, based on on-going work with the City of Milan.

Europe is not on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to the extent needed to limit the rise in global temperatures in accordance with the Paris Agreement (1.5-2˚C). The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming states that achieving net zero in time means decarbonising at least six times faster than the global average. 

The built environment, responsible for about 40 per cent of our carbon emissions, requires many and diverse actions to significantly impact our GHG emissions trajectory, such as better insulation to reduce heating emissions, more efficient heating systems, renewable energy, minimising construction waste, re-using materials and, in particular, switching to carbon-negative building materials such as timber grown by sustainable forestry. We have made great progress in constructing climate-friendly buildings that are increasingly affordable. These buildings shall become the gold standard for construction all over the world in the not-too-distant future. Another hard nut to crack though is the renovation of existing buildings. At present, Germany renovates about one per cent of its existing building stock per year; this number needs to increase four-fold if the country is to achieve its climate targets.

In “How blended finance can catalyse building renovation,” members of the EIT Climate-KIC community propose undertaking a “deep community retrofit” that scales up renovation at the district level rather than implementing piecemeal energy efficiency measures at the household level. Increasing the scale will not only boost the rate of renovation, but also generate co-benefits not possible on an “apartment by apartment” basis. They also propose engaging whole communities in the renovation of common areas to create the conditions for pooling investments and demand. This in turn will create the local construction jobs that are desperately needed to lift Europe out of the pandemic-induced recession.

The paper is based on a workshop the authors ran at the 2020 European Sustainable Finance Summit, which was organised by the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany e.V.

Read the full whitepaper

 

 
Location
Germany
Related Focus Area
Urban Transitions
Related Goal
Goal 1: Promote retrofit and decentralised energy
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