Green, healthy buildings as economic stimulus

EU policy recommendations on starting a paradigm shift


We welcome the EU’s intention to ‘Rebuild Europe’ by accelerating gren building renovation[1] to support economic recovery, to support our health[2], to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy security.

A recent survey[3] of hundreds of central bank and national finance department officals found that retrofitting buildings was one of the top ways to stimulate growth and cut carbon emissions. A review[4] of thirty five building retrofit programs found an average of 19 jobs created per €1m investment.

Pre-pandemic, an estimated 7.5 million jobs were involved in the renovation of buildings. A tripling of building renovation rates could create an additional 2 – 4 million jobs in the construction sector with additional jobs created amongst product manufacturers[5].

However, energy efficiency investment in buildings and industry has stagnated and is certainly not growing at levels required to reach the Paris Agreement goals[6].

For the last six years, DWS has been advising the EU as a founding member of the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group. EEFIG is convened by the EU Commission and the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), bringing together ~200 finance and efficiency experts. DWS (this author), is leading the Steering Committee’s focus on the covid-19 recovery package with EEFIG's rapporteur Peter Sweatman.

We commend the proposed EU Building Renovation facility[7] as developed by Mr. Sweatman (in a personal capacity). DWS’s proposals will increase the probability of a successful ‘Rebuild Europe’ strategy.

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1. EU Commission Dec 2019

2. IEA March 2019

3. Hepburn et al 2020

4. EEIF 2012

5. EU Commission, IPSOS, Navigant; Feb 2019

6. IEA 2019; EEFIG 2020

7. RenovateEurope leads communication on the proposal. Contact Climate Strategy & Partners for more detail on the proposal.


DWS Investment GmbH as of May 2020
CRC 075978 (05/2020)

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