Check: an approach to climate action that’s friendly and fair

„The more complex our plans become, the trickier they are to implement,” said Erich Kästner. The same goes for climate action: many people believe it is crucial and there are big plans to reach the necessary targets. However, when it comes to funding climate action, most see this as someone else’s problem.

That’s what sets the Deutsche Wohnen concept apart from many other plans, as everyone shares the cost of the necessary investment, without overburdening individual groups. Scientific assessment was required to ensure the concept actually worked – through a feasibility study by the German Economic Institute (IW).

Researchers at the institute recommend making Deutsche Wohnen’s approach a cornerstone of a cohesive concept for the entire housing sector. This overall concept would have to combine a range of additional measures in a sensible way and offer key players a reliable framework for investment.

Key study findings:

In order to achieve a virtually climate-neutral property portfolio by 2050, the refurbishment rate must increase from its current level of 1 % to 2.5 % per year. The necessary volume of investment amounts to around EUR 498 billion by 2050.

Around 72 % of all properties rented in Germany were built before 1978 and have a high potential for modernisation. By 2050, in order to achieve climate targets, 1.04 million homes per year need an energy upgrade with insulation measures.

The Energy and Climate Fund [Energie- und Klimafonds – EKF] support sought for energy-related modernisation solves the dilemma between climate action and housing costs by making energy upgrades easier and avoiding direct extra costs for the tenant.

The EKF model would lighten the load on tenants considerably compared to existing tenancy law in the first few years following modernisation. Tenants alone would save around EUR 123 billion by 2050, or around EUR 4 billion per year.

This refurbishment offensive would reduce CO2 emissions in the property sector from the current level of 121 million tonnes per year to 74 million tonnes in 2030 and 33 million tonnes in 2050.

And that’s not all: by reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, long-term consequential climate damage can be avoided. This saves an additional EUR 179 billion, or an average of EUR 6 billion a year.

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