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EU Built Environment Has the Largest Climate Investment Gap of Any Sector

Meeting the EU’s 2030 climate target needs €3.5 trillion of investment this decade to decarbonise Europe’s buildings through renovation, according to a new report from the Green Finance Institute (GFI). Based on Member States’ current plans, the investment gap to 2030 is estimated at €2.75 trillion1 , making it the largest climate investment gap of any sector.

The report: Unlocking the Trillions: Public-private innovation to deliver the EU’s renovation wave ambition provides new analysis of how Member States can mobilise private finance and investment for building renovation. The paper highlights a combination of finance market maturity, an enabling environment, and policy ambition as pillars upon which financial innovation stands, and the landscape for these differs across Europe. The report launched in partnership with independent climate think tank E3G with funding from the Laudes Foundation, conducted a unique mapping exercise to identify high-potential countries with a mature financial landscape, which have an enabling environment and ambitious built environment plans. It then looked at existing projects and networks in each country.

The Green Finance Institute, is the UK’s principal forum for public and private sector collaboration in green finance, and alongside the report it is launching the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings Europe (CEEB Europe) to bring together leaders in finance, real estate and energy sectors, and policy, academia and non-profit organisations, to co-develop financial products to address this investment gap, building on the success of the GFI’s UK-based Coalition, Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB).

As a next step, CEEB Europe will partner with key players in finance and real estate sectors to join or set up in-country coalitions which will work through the country-specific challenges and opportunities for widescale renovation.

“At COP26 we heard renewed calls for the built environment to fully decarbonise. As this report notes, the investment gap to realise these ambitions is huge. The real gap is now one of collaboration – across the worlds of finance, buildings, policy and more – to align ambition, and establish the practical instruments that help millions of citizens and businesses bring their buildings up to climate-aligned standards. The CEEB model is leading the way here.” – James Drinkwater, Head of Built Environment, Laudes Foundation.

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1 https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/eu_renovation_wave_strategy.pdf added to the Commission’s current estimated spend of €85-90bn x10

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