27 September 2023, London: The Green Finance Institute (GFI), supported by funding from the Laudes Foundation, has expanded its presence to Denmark and Spain with the appointment of two green finance experts, Signe Fosgaard and Eduardo Brunet.
Globally, the operation and construction of buildings accounts for around 37% of CO2 emissions , so decarbonising the built environment is vital to achieving net-zero. Across Europe, the GFI in Denmark, Spain and the UK will collaborate to share key learnings and expertise to tailor financial solutions to local markets, remove barriers to investment, and channel more capital into greening buildings.
The GFI aims to unlock capital at the pace and scale required to increase deep renovation rates in specific European Member States, tackling the annual EUR275 billion building renovation gap and achieving the ambitions of the European Green Deal.
Dr Rhian Mari-Thomas OBE, CEO, Green Finance Institute, said:
“Collaboration has been key to our success at the Green Finance Institute. Our expansion into Europe builds on our work to-date, by fostering new partnerships as we seek to learn from and share best practice. Our aim is to scale successful solutions that will channel capital towards decarbonising our economies at the pace demanded by the science. With buildings in the EU responsible for 36% of greenhouse gas emissions, our initial focus will be on overcoming the barriers to investment in renovation upgrades by developing the innovative financial solutions and the enabling conditions to make buildings greener.”
James Hooton, Managing Director, Green Finance Institute Europe, said:
“The Green Finance Institute in Europe will work to catalyse investment at the pace and scale required to achieve a green and just transition. We’re delighted to have hired two green finance and real estate experts in Denmark and Spain with an initial focus on decarbonising the built environment at a regional, national and European level.”
Amol Mehra, Director of Industry Programmes, Laudes Foundation
“Finance can play a pivotal role in combatting climate change and inequality in every industry, but no more so than the built environment. The Green Finance Institute has a proven track record driving UK building decarbonisation by working collaboratively with the finance sector to overcome investment barriers while providing practical, inclusive and just solutions. Laudes Foundation is excited about continuing our partnership with them as they expand this work across new jurisdictions.”
About GFI Spain
In Spain, the GFI is focused on increasing the flow of private finance to decarbonise the economy with an initial focus on the built environment. The GFI is currently leading the finance work stream of the citiES 2030 programme – comprising eight Spanish cities – Barcelona, Madrid, Soria, Seville, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zaragoza – as part of the EU’s mission to deliver 112 climate neutral and smart cities by 2030 through involving local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors and regional and national authorities.
The GFI is also working to build upon the success of its ‘Lender’s Handbook on Green Home Retrofit and Technologies’ and adapting this for the Spanish market to provide a vital resource for financial institutions looking to increase their awareness of the financial products and services which will facilitate the roll out of net-zero ready buildings.
Eduardo Brunet, Director, Green Finance Institute Spain, said:
“To ensure the entire building stock is carbon neutral by 2050, we need to make energy efficiency upgrades to more than 300,000 homes per year which will require radical collaboration between public and private sector to mobilise the capital required. The GFI in Spain will work with market participants to seize the opportunities offered by the green transition.”
Juan Carlos Delrieu, Director of Strategy and Sustainability, Spanish Banking Association, said:
“In a context where sustainable investment has become vitally important, organisations such as the GFI have a key role to play. In Spain, a partnership with GFI represents an excellent opportunity to make further progress towards a decarbonised economy through a comprehensive sustainable finance strategy.”
About GFI Denmark
In Denmark, the GFI has partnered with the World Climate Foundation to work with investors and the wider Danish real estate sector to design, operationalise, and bring to market financial mechanisms for de-risking and scaling up green real estate investment, initially in Denmark, but with the potential to scale into Nordic and other European countries.
Signe Fosgaard, Director, Green Finance Institute Denmark, said:
“There is a real willingness among financial institutions in Denmark to play a key role in the green transition, and the GFI will work with them and other stakeholders to develop, implement and scale innovative green finance mechanisms and remove barriers to investment to deliver change at the pace and scale that is needed. With construction and use of buildings responsible for 40 percent of Denmark’s overall energy consumption and 30 percent of CO2 emissions , decarbonising the built environment will be vital to achieve net zero.”
Jens Nielsen, CEO and founder, World Climate Foundation, said:
“The success of any climate or nature-positive action hinges on collaboration, coordination, and enhanced access to finance and technology; this typically requires capable platforms and convenings to act as bridges between corporations, sectors, governments, and funders. Our partnership with the Green Finance Institute is an example of the collaborative solutions that are vital to help us reach short-term climate targets and build a greener and safer future.”