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Engaging with the financial sector to ensure affordable, energy efficient housing

In its contribution to the social pillar of sustainability, The Concrete Initiative commits to work with key stakeholders to accelerate the availability of affordable housing. It calls upon policymakers to ensure that sufficient financial flows are redirected towards boosting sustainable development.

In this regard, the Interim Report issued by the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (“EEFIG”) is an important step in the right direction.  The EEFIG is was jointly convened by the European Commission and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative to bring together their experience to address the need to increase the scale of energy efficiency investments across the EU.  The Interim Report focuses on energy efficiency in buildings and stresses the sense of urgency by stating that energy efficiency investments in Europe have become strategically important due to the high level of energy imports required by the EU bloc (55% in 2012 and costing EUR 400 bn), rising energy prices and the ambitious climate change goals proposed for 2030. The Interim report suggests six policy recommendations:

  1. Effective transposition, implementation and enforcement of existing legislation governing the building sector connecting to a 2050 vision of EU buildings;
  2. Increased focus on standards and open-source access to all aspects of buildings performance data and investment processes;
  3. Increased capture and articulation of the multiple benefits of energy efficiency investments for decision-makers and in reporting;
  4. Optimal use of Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020, Horizon 2020 and ETS revenues to support new and existing Member States’ activities to meet their targets under the Energy Efficiency Directive.
The Concrete Initiative is keen to contribute to this debate. It is clear that data availability on performance of buildings over their life-cycle needs to be improved and the industry can help to achieve this goal. The Concrete Initiative further hopes that a close interaction with the financial sector will contribute to a public-private cooperation model whereby affordable access to financing for rebuild and renovation furthers the energy efficiency agenda for buildings.    

The full Interim Study is available on the website of DG Energy

Tags: finance, affordable housing, energy efficiency

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