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13th CTI Workshop Innovations for a Climate Friendly Building Sector Berlin, Germany: October 4-5, 2012

The 13th Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) Workshop focused on “Innovations for a Climate Friendly Building Sector” and aimed at discussing newest trends and developments in the global building sector. Around 60 participants from 16 countries accepted the invitation of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and attended the workshop. Decision makers, international experts, representatives from financial institutions and energy efficiency project developers participated in the two-day event and shared innovative ideas and knowledge on a more climate friendly building sector.

The first day of the workshop was dedicated to regulatory frameworks and financing opportunities. Participants agreed that building codes are an essential instrument to encourage energy efficient building standards across the world. It was concluded that besides “carrots” and “sticks” as policy instruments, “tambourine” in form of creating awareness and knowledge is of major importance. In addition, an increased cooperation between government ministries and agencies is often necessary for a better enforcement of regulations. The session on financing dealt with schemes on different policy levels and by different actors: national financing schemes, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and bilateral as well as multilateral financing. Workshop participants called for greater awareness of and incentives for banks to offer loans for investments in energy efficiency measures. ESCOs were seen as promising instrument not only to finance energy efficiency measures but also disseminate knowledge in environments with little knowledge and capacities on energy efficiency in buildings. Discussions made once again clear that no global solutions or blueprints exist for regulatory or financial instruments. Each instrument needs to be adapted to the local reality where it is implemented.

On the second day of the workshop, participants delved into international climate protection instruments for the building sector such as nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), new market mechanisms (NMM) or the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Participants agreed that international climate protection instruments can serve as a source of additional funding for investments in energy efficient buildings. There is however still some work to do to fill the new concepts of NAMA and NMM with life and apply them in the respective national contexts. Participants consented to the finding that there is a need to better define the aim and scope of NMM and NAMAs in the building sector to spread the emergence of this instruments across the world. In the afternoon session on urban energy management, various approaches were presented on how to achieve energy efficiency reductions in the building sector by focusing on actions at a neighbourhood and city level. Speakers in this session shared the view that a holistic approach combining technical knowledge and capacity, financial means and political will are necessary for successful urban energy management.

The workshop was concluded by a wrap-up by BMU as the host: Dr Silke Karcher thanked all participants for their valuable inputs and the fruitful discussions. On this basis the workshop will enter the 14th round in 2013 and discuss new developments with regard to international efforts for climate protection in the building sector.