Creating a financial market for energy efficiency in buildings through green mortgages could be the best way to ramp up building renovations and create a virtuous circle that benefits people, planet and profit
Limiting global warming to 1.5C and having the best shot at keeping the devastating effects of climate change to a minimum will require “rapid and far-reaching transitions” in buildings. This was underlined in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of leading scientists advising governments. For this transition to happen with the necessary speed, regulators need to stimulate the creation of a market for financial products that boost progress on energy renovation
Rapid far-reaching transitions in buildings tends to mean making them net zero carbon. The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), a global non-profit organisation, defines such buildings as highly energy efficient with all remaining energy supplied from on-site and/or off-site renewable sources.This is far from being the norm. Worldwide almost 40% of energy related greenhouse emissions come from buildings. Energy efficiency measures could contribute to a 48% reduction in global emissions by 2030, with 43% of those coming from buildings, estimates the International Energy Agency. In Europe, 97% of buildings are deemed inefficient and estimates show the region will miss its international climate targets unless it triples its renovation rate from 1% to 3% annually and renovates at least 23 000 homes every day until 2050.
For the WorldGBC’s Stephen Richardson, a good way of achieving that target is by creating a financial market for energy efficiency in buildings through green mortgages. Such a market would not only be beneficial for the climate, but help homeowners improve the health and comfort of their homes and protect banks and the wider economy from the risks associated with having inefficient buildings on their balance sheets. Buildings underpin one-third of the banking sector’s assets in the EU and pose risks in various guises. Owners of an energy inefficient building are more like to default on their mortgage than owners of more efficient buildings. As rising fuel costs push up bills, this may reduce the ability of owners to keep up with their mortgage payments, leading to losses for the owner and the lender. ...
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Standards forcing landlords to make buildings more energy efficient would benefit the climate and tenants, say Jan Rosenow from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) and Sibyl Steuwer from the Buildings Performance Institute Europe
Merging new technologies and traditional building techniques makes buildings more energy efficient, say Sandra Piesik, editor of “HABITAT: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet”, and colleague Karen Rizvi
National governments are failing their citizens, ignoring their international emissions reduction pledges and leaving banks open to greater financial risk by not renovating homes, says Céline Carré, President at EuroACE and Head of European Public Affairs at Saint-Gobain
Accelerating the energy transition will be good news for jobs, the economy and climate, says a major report published in September 2018
Discussions sparked by plans for banks in the EU to hold less capital against green lending have advanced thinking about how monetary authorities and regulators can support green investment, even if the plans themselves have received a mixed reception