Group launches Coalition for Energy Efficiency of Buildings Europe in bid to unlock much-needed private financing for green building renovations

The Green Finance Institute (GFI) has unveiled plans to extend its influence beyond the UK, with the launch this week of a new Coalition for Energy Efficiency of Buildings Europe (CEEB Europe) which will work with real estate and finance players from across the continent in a bid to mobilise greater private and public sector investment in building sector decarbonisation.

The scheme aims to replicate the public-private model of the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings, a scheme launched in the UK by the GFI in 2019 that brings public and private sector players together to work on tools and financial products that can reduce the climate impact of the UK’s built environment.

The GFI said it now wants to partner with “like-minded national finance and real estate organisations” across Europe to form coalitions that would collaborate with networks already in place; share knowledge and best practice; catalyse product development; and advise on policy levers that can create and scale markets for building renovation. 

Significant swathes of private investment will be required to drive ‘green’ upgrades and renovations to homes across the EU. Roughly 70 per cent of the bloc’s 220 million buildings need to be renovated to meet European climate goals, according to experts, but public funds allocated to upgrade projects are falling far short of levels required.

The GFI pointed to figures which calculate that €275bn of extra funding will be needed annually beyond government budgets to achieve the renovation commitments outlined in the EU’s 2030 climate plan, which it said was “the largest investment shortfall of any sector”.

“While small compared to the scale of what is needed, Europe’s recovery budgets have the potential to kick-start the widescale greening of the building stock,” said Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, chief executive of the GFI. “However, to drive the necessary investment of over €3.5 trillion in renovation to 2030, a collective, outcomes-focused approach will be key.

“We’ve launched CEEB Europe to work in partnership with others to crowd-in private funding to this sector, by convening coalitions of property, finance, policy and supply chain experts to examine and develop the solutions to overcoming the barriers to investment.”

Alongside the launch of the new group, the GFI this week published research which analyses which EU countries currently have the most potential for CEEB-style coalitions.

The report, titled Unlocking the Trillions, identifies Spain, France, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands as the countries “closest to readiness” for such a scheme, based on the maturity of their financial markets, investor confidence, and the policy and stakeholder environment. However, it noted there was scope for partnerships across all 27 member states of the EU.

The GFI said it now planned to partner with “key networks and players” across the real estate and finance sectors in “high-potential” countries, encouraging them to join or set up dedicated renovation-focused coalitions in their respective countries.

“We want to partner with equally dynamic organisations in this space, to examine the challenges on a country-specific basis, and then design and bring to market the innovations to overcome them,” explained James Hooton, programme director of CEEB Europe.

Hooton added that the new organisation aimed to “unlock the financial, as well as data, regulatory and policy barriers to renovate their buildings, and to create new products and tools to accelerate private sector investment towards meeting the ambitions of the ‘renovation wave’.”

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