Support for European ‘Green Mortgage’ Grows
Support for a push towards a ‘green mortgage’ market is building among stakeholders in the financial sector, which may provide a key piece of the puzzle for national building renovation strategies.
In early June, the European Mortgage Federation – European Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC) convened investors and energy efficiency experts across the region for a high level panel debate on the “The Future Development of EU Mortgage and Covered Bond Markets, and Implications of the Energy Efficiency Debate”.
The event was hosted at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, the scene of BUILD UPON’s last European meeting, and James Drinkwater represented the BUILD UPON project on a panel containing banking experts, European Commission officials, BASEL committee representatives and other green finance experts.
The EMF-ECBC proposal, to design an “energy efficiency label” for mortgages, based on certain energy performance indicators was presented as a starting point of the panel debate. Among the panelists and participants there was a common agreement that banks have an important role to play in providing long-term financing for energy improvements to the existing European housing stock, in particular, mortgage banks and covered bond issuers, given their position in the market and their intervention at a critical moment in the process of purchasing and financing a property.
The importance of the Paris Agreement and its impact on institutional investors was highlighted, as well as the need to focus on supporting strong national renovation strategies to mobilize private finance initiatives, with supportive policies such as strengthened Energy Performance Certificates and building assessments. EU countries have until April next year to deliver strengthened renovation strategies.
Quoted in the press recently, Luca Bertalot, secretary-general of EMF-ECBC, and a member of the BUILD UPON Advisory Board said of the work to define a European green mortgage label: “We truly believe this will be a pioneering, revolutionary component of the mortgage market.” “The entire mortgage lending industry is ready to go for it.”
The green mortgages project is expected to launch its first phase at the BUILD UPON supported “Leaders’ Summit” in Madrid on 20-21 September, supported by the European Regional Network of WorldGBC, through BUILD UPON’s Innovation Incubator.
Read more on the green mortgages project concept here.