World Economic Forum calls for government leadership on green job creation

The World Economic Forum, a group consisting of the world’s leading corporate citizens, is calling on governments to take the lead in green job creation through the retrofitting of commercial buildings to make them more energy efficient.

The report, entitled A Profitable & Resource Efficient Future: Catalysing Retrofit Finance & Investing in Commercial Real Estate, recommends practical steps government leaders can take to stimulate investment in energy efficiency upgrades to commercial buildings enabling job creation and green growth. The retrofit market has an estimated value of US$400 billion in the United States alone, creating 600,000–900,000 new green jobs while reducing energy usage by 29% by 2020.

The report recognises that, like the home insulation sector, there is a general market failure to price and incentivise the retrofitting of commercial buildings. Government leadership is all that is required to unlock the business potential of the commercial retrofit industry.

One of the key recommendations of the report is for government-mandated and standardised energy consumption reporting – an efficiency rating system for buildings. When combined with additional policies such as tax incentives, loan guarantees or credit enhancements, the information generated by such a reporting and rating system can help potential investors make better decisions to invest in energy efficiency projects.

Australia was found to have the most mature retrofit market as a result of a long-standing reporting and rating system, coupled with government-led action, including tax deductions and a third party institution to host demonstration projects.

The Green Party has taken the lead in the residential sector with our Heat Smart home insulation programme. We’ve announced new policy to energy rate rental properties, make this information publicly available, and then implement minimum energy efficiency standards to help drive investment. The World Economic Forum’s report rates this approach as best practice.

The potential for green job creation retrofitting our commercial building stock here in New Zealand is huge, but if we don’t move quickly, it will be Australian companies that secure a lion’s share of the market here and abroad.


World Economic Forum graphic


7 Comments Posted

  1. well the nature its what is importand in al the life, the world and all the people know that we ust to be good people wiht our planet, I thunk that is a good idea and help to the economy worlwide, that the people at home work to do a green world, here in Colombia we work wiht many stuff triying to make some differente everyday, to reduce the cost on the services, and help our world, that is what really is impotand to us.

  2. That 1% / 2.2% relationship could have a number of effects behind it. Urban living requires transporting food and other consumables from other areas, which takes energy. Living in larger buildings gives less outside wall per person, requiring more use of artificial lighting and perhaps air conditioning. On the other hand, less outside wall and less roof space reduces heat loss, so a lot depends on the climate. However I suspect that much of the increased energy use goes hand in hand with an improved standard of living – at least in some areas like having refrigeration. Some of the increase is likely to be due to more use of television and the like to fill in time previously spend farming – arguably not an improvement in standard of living :).


  3. Agree with all that BJ says. And I too would like to know if the 1% = 2.2% relationship alters with population density.

    When we talk about large scale energy savings, we need to think of the costs of implementing change to reduce energy use at the country level, rather than at the individual premise level.

    A few brave souls have had insulation installed in their home, mostly at their own cost, with a bit of a subsidy. When (eg) Genesis decides needs a new power station, each premise that gets power doesn’t get an invoice for their share of the cost of building the new station; all that stuff is managed by (again, eg) Genesis, and the costs are just an indivisible part of the total electricity bill.

    A similar approach is needed at the national level to improve building energy efficiency, costed the same way. This is because what we are doing is pitting energy reduction costs and returns against building more power station costs and returns, and both of these approaches should be both funded the same way for transparency in the decision making process.

  4. I find it interesting that for every 1% increase the energy use increases 2.2%.

    I wish there was a comparative value for suburban and rural increases, as it is entirely possible for energy use to increase more than the base population increase numbers in all three cases.


  5. as you would like this to happen in my country, we are here in Dominican Republic needs more jobs for young people that we can desarrollarno in a more comprehensive, so I hope this has raised the World Economic Forum can be a real in my country, com this also increase the level of education for the same job could pay for a university for example, and not only that but that would be conducive to the development of the country.

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