Green Deal: Private engagement as key

March 3, 2020

The European Union has set itself the goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050. There is still a relatively long way to go to achieve this goal. Initial ideas have been presented in the European Green Deal and most recently specified in more detail in the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan. Accordingly, the European Commission sees the greatest requirement for investment in the building sector. For residential buildings alone, the plan calls for additional investment in energy efficiency upgrades totaling EUR 120 billion annually by 2030. In addition, EUR 75 billion per year needs to be invested in publicly-owned and service sector buildings in order to achieve the energy and climate targets by 2030. Across all sectors, public and private investments of at least EUR 1 trillion are to be mobilized in climate-protection measures over the next decade.

EXPO REAL real estate sector contribute to a more climate-friendly Europe
How can the real estate sector contribute to a more climate-friendly Europe? Photo via iStock

The real estate industry has to live up to its social responsibility

These staggering amounts are an indication of the great challenges facing the real estate industry. And they reflect the responsibility the industry bears toward society as a whole, which we have been living up to for years—for example, by putting forward our own proposals. Long before the current hype around climate change developed, ZIA advocated carbon pricing—under certain conditions and taking into account complex chains of effects—as a market-based alternative to achieve climate targets.

Intelligent approaches to market regulation should be at the forefront of future political projects

Private engagement is the key to meeting climate targets. If the capital market is to fulfill its steering role, we need intelligent and market-driven approaches, not tighter regulation. These approaches must be at the forefront of all future political projects—especially the upcoming review of the current capital market regulation, but also the introduction of new banking regulations under the Basel Accord.

Dr. Andreas Mattner

President of German real estate trade association ZIA—Zentraler Immobilien Ausschuss e. V.