The demand for energy-efficient building renovation programmes offered by Germany’s government in the context of its Climate Action Programme 2030 remains high in the second quarter of 2020, even as the coronavirus pandemic took a grim toll on economic activity between April and June. According to the economy ministry (BMWi), credits and grants worth 14.5 billion euros haven been issued by the national development bank KfW in the first half of the year to retrofit more than 215,000 housing units as well as commercial and public buildings. Investments in renovation have totalled 38.5 billion euros since January. “This is an excellent development during hard times,” said economy minister Peter Altmaier. He argued the support programmes would not only help Germany improve its carbon emissions record in the buildings sector but it also made sure small and medium-sized companies have plenty of business to conduct. “Climate action and economic recovery go hand in hand here,” Altmaier said. The ministry attributed part of the success to reformed support rules implemented at the beginning of the year, meaning the number of renovation projects in the country was twice as high in the first six months of the year than it was during the same period in 2019. For private buildings, the increase even reached 180 percent, the KfW stated. About 14 percent of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings and according to a KfW research paper released last year, “practically all” of Germany’s three-million non-residential building stock will have to be renovated if Germany wants to reach its target of a close-to-climate-neutral building stock by 2050. Support for energy-efficient retrofitting is one of several measures adopted by the government in its Climate Action Programme to improve the buildings sector’s emissions record, which also includes the introduction of a pricing scheme for carbon emissions in the transport and heating sector taking effect in 2021.

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