How the European Central Bank can unleash the building renovation wave

(EurActiv, 16 Sep 2021) Trillions are needed for the deep building renovations required to meet Europe’s climate targets. To make this happen, EU institutions need to use the network of banks across Europe and incentivise loans for home renovation, argue finance campaigners.

This opinion piece is authored by five leaders representing a number of campaign groups, who are listed at the bottom of the article.

Without dedicated financial instruments and technical assistance, the European Commission will miss its goal to at least double the speed of building renovation in Europe. Yet at the height of the pandemic, coordination between member states and EU institutions was key to support struggling economies.

The European Central Bank’s €2 trillion programme of negative interest loans to banks could play a major role in kick-starting renovations and delivering emission cuts, better living standards, jobs and growth.

The Commission’s “Renovation Wave” initiative sets objectives for at least doubling the pace of building renovations in Europe. This is a key priority to reduce carbon emissions across the EU and to tackle energy poverty by reducing the costs of heating bills to citizens.

But the plan suffers from a lack of dedicated EU funding, and although the national plans submitted by member states foresee significant sums for renovation, much more is needed to fulfil the estimated €275 billion annual investment requirements for deep renovation. What’s more, there are already delays in raising and distributing funds. Clearly other sources of funding are needed if the European Commission is to meet its own expectations.

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EurActiv, 16 Sep 2021: How the European Central Bank can unleash the building renovation wave