Retrofitting buildings (Germany)
According to the IPCC retrofitting buildings has the largest potential to reduce green house gas emissions by 2030. Retrofitting initiatives usually pay for themselves through energy savings and government support. The German Alliance for Work and Environment launched a programme in 2001 to help retrofit over 300,000 appartments with improved insulation of roofs, windows and walls, as well as improved heating and ventilation systems and the installation of renewable energy equipment. The German Alliance for Work and the Environment is a partnership between trade unions, the government, environmental NGOs and employers’ federations.
Over the period 2001-2006 the programme helped create about 140,000 new jobs, and has reduced annual emissions from buildings by about 2%. The scheme involved about US$ 5 billion of public subsidies, which stimulated an investment of about US$ 20 billion. About US$ 4 billion of this was recovered through tax. The need for unemployment benefits was averted. Retrofitting buildings has become one of the main features of the German Government’s strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2020.
For more information, see:
UNEP, ILO, IOE, ITUC (2008): Green Jobs: Towards decent work in a sustainable, low-carbon world. Worldwatch Institute, United Nations Environment Programme, International Labour Organization, International Organization of Employers, International Trade Union Confederation
Lots of news from the Caribbean regional dialogue process as local groups lead the transition to greener economies