Towards greener homes — the role of green finance
For anyone interested in climate action, the government’s commitment to halve Ireland’s emissions by 2030 and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 was one of the highlights of the year. But we won’t reach this objective focusing exclusively on energy efficiency — we must turn our attention to cutting embodied carbon too, and this wil be a major focus of the Irish Green Building Council's Better Homes conference next Friday, 27 November.
With half a million new homes to be built by 2040, we must urgently tackle the total environmental impacts of the built environment —both carbon and resource-related—across its entire lifecycle.
At the 2020’s UNEP finance global roundtable, Christiana Figueres, convenor of the Mission 2020 global campaign to drive urgent climate action, pointed out that where finance goes, so go emissions, or emission reductions. The good news is that sustainability is now becoming a major concern for institutional investors.
Many European pension funds are considering embodied carbon and life cycle assessment essential to their investment process. In Ireland, a growing number of international investors are setting broader environmental requirements for the assets they purchase and operate. The recently published European Taxonomy Regulation aims to define EU-recognised criteria for identifying sustainable activities going beyond energy efficiency. These developments will impact investments in green homes, and the mortgages markets in Ireland.
To ensure broader sustainability issues, such as whole life carbon, are fully taken into account when building new residential developments, the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) has developed the Home Performance Index certification. The certification demonstrates the quality, sustainability and energy performance of residential sector developments.
Technological solutions exist and they can be implemented at scale. For instance, Waugh Thistleton Architects, a world leader in engineered timber and pioneer in the field of tall timber buildings, recently designed a 10-storey timber apartment block in Dalston, London.
These topics will be extensively discussed at the IGBC’s annual residential conference – Better Homes, on Friday, 27 November from 9 am to 11 am. Speakers include:
Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Niels Kristien Johne – PensionDanmark
Andrew Waugh - Waugh Thistleton Architects
Phelim O’Neill - Land Development Agency
Luca Chiarelli, Sisk
Laura Heuston, Sustainability Works
For further information on Better Homes 2020 or to register, please click here.