The Green Finance Institute (GFI) has secured backing from climate charity Laudes Foundation to help develop funding mechanisms for home energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating, in a bid to help slash emissions from the UK’s millions of leaky buildings.

The partnership announced today will see Laudes Foundation provide funding and strategic support for the work of the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB), which was established by the GFI in December 2019 with support from climate think tank E3G.

The CEEB brings together around 300 public and private organisations in a bid to develop and rapidly scale-up new markets and financial mechanisms to help fund energy efficiency and low carbon heating measures in UK homes and buildings.

The partnership with Laudes Foundation therefore aims to support the CEEB in bringing forward a portfolio of UK-based demonstration projects to market, and to help expand the CEEB’s work across low-carbon heating, in addition to exploring how innovations could be replicated worldwide, the GFI said.

It follows GFI’s launch last year of a new set of standards for financing green building upgrades, which have already won the backing of energy efficiency installers and a host of major banks and financial firms such as Lloyds, NatWest, BNP Paribas, the Saffron Building Society and others. The GFI and CEEB are also members of the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce.

Laudes Foundation and the GFI said they shared a “common sense of urgency around the need to rapidly decarbonise the built environment”, which accounts for around 40 per cent of the UK’s carbon footprint.

“We urgently need to retrofit our homes and building stock to meet net-zero targets,” Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, chief executive of the GFI, which works with public, private and non-profit sectors to overcome financial barriers to furthering the next zero transition.

“The partnership with a leading philanthropic institution such as Laudes Foundation will enable us to accelerate the innovative work being carried out by our CEEB coalition, building on our work in the UK to date by seeking international opportunities to channel capital towards local solutions that help deliver greener, more resilient and more comfortable homes,” she added.

It comes amid disarray over the government’s green buildings agenda, with recent reports suggesting the Green Homes Grant Scheme – designed to offer discounts on home retrofit measures – could soon be scrapped by Ministers just months after it was first launched last year.

The scheme, originally touted a central pillar of the government’s ‘green recovery’ agenda, has been beset by numerous challenges struggles, and is set to see potentially over £1bn withdrawn from its budget.

In the lead up to the crucial COP26 UN climate change summit in Glasgow later this year, Laudes, the GFI and the CEEB said they aimed to establish and scale the necessary financial markets and mechanisms, and build capacity at the local level, to deploy capital in the real economy to help decarbonise UK buildings in line with the Paris Agreement goals.

Such efforts will also open up new growth opportunities, particularly those hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis over the past year, while increasing accessibility to affordable low carbon housing and reducing fuel poverty, said James Drinkwater, Laudes Foundation’s head of built environment.

“Investment flows into constructing and renovating homes to net-zero carbon standards remain far below the levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement,” he said. “It’s also critical this enables the many, not just the few, to benefit from a better built environment.”

Drinkwater added that he was “delighted” to support the GFI’s “pioneering work, and to explore how a similar approach to unblocking the barriers to investment can be adopted elsewhere in the global effort to decarbonise the built environment”.

Source Business Green

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