Faltering Climate Plan 2045 Amidst a Restricted Solution Corridor

"Narrow solution corridor": Building climate plan 2045 threatened with failure

The German government’s goal of achieving climate-neutral buildings by 2045 may be threatened due to the requirement of a six-figure number of new specialists, according to experts. The Central Association of the German Construction Industry (ZDB) estimates that the industry would need an additional 150,000 to 200,000 workers. The Prognos Institute has highlighted a “massive shortage of materials and skilled workers,” while the Federal Statistical Office claims that approximately one percent of housing stock is modernized per year.

For the climate-neutral goal to be achieved, the renovation rate would need to rise to 1.8 or 1.9 percent annually. However, with no large wave of recruitment in the building trade, this doubling of the renovation rate is not feasible. There are also significant concerns regarding the costs involved, with additional investments of €448bn mentioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics.

According to experts, significantly higher state subsidies would be required. Andreas Enseling from the Darmstadt Institute for Housing and Environment suggests that a combination of increased funding and the expansion of CO2 pricing would be the most effective way to achieve climate neutrality. Despite the issues faced, Felix Pakleppa, general manager of ZDB, states that the goal of climate neutrality by 2045 is achievable if the right framework conditions, including state subsidies, are met.

The importance of reducing carbon emissions through energy-efficient buildings cannot be overlooked. The construction and real estate sector has a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Building materials, design and construction methods can all be improved to create efficient, sustainable and environmentally-friendly buildings, while retrofitting existing structures should play a significant part in any climate action strategy.

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