Building renovations can unleash future-proof jobs for a green recovery
(EurActiv, 17 Apr 2020) Investing in safer, more comfortable and cleaner homes and public buildings would benefit people and the economy, writes Barbara Mariani.
Barbara Mariani is senior policy officer for climate and energy at European Environmental Bureau and works as buildings expert for the PlanUp project that tracks the development of the EU national energy and climate plans.
The world is facing an unprecedented crisis with the coronavirus pandemic and the immediate focus is rightly on saving lives and slowing down the spread of the virus. But it doesn’t mean that we should forget our efforts to stop the climate crisis. The impacts of climate breakdown continue to be felt all over the world and, as is the case with the health crisis, the most vulnerable are hit the hardest.
In times of extraordinary emergencies such as the one we are living through, all efforts must be focused on mobilising resources at a pace and magnitude needed to tackle multiple challenges. In the EU, the European Central Bank has announced a €750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program and national governments are preparing stimulus packages worth billions of euros. On 9 April, EU Finance Ministers agreed on unlocking a €540 billion support package, while the European Commission will soon propose a recovery strategy.
This money must be spent wisely: it must benefit people, not only to address the short-term impacts but also to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, climate-friendly and resilient economy.