The Green Finance Institute extends to Denmark and Spain

The Green Finance Institute is expanding its presence in Europe to Denmark and Spain in order to accelerate the green transition. It announced today the appointment of two green finance and real estate experts, Signe Fosgaard as the Head of GFI Denmark and Eduardo Brunet as Head of GFI Spain.

Signe Fosgaard, new head of GFI Denmark

“Our expansion into Europe builds on our work to-date, by fostering new partnerships as we seek to learn from and share best practice,” said Rhian Mari-Thomas, CEO, Green Finance Institute. “Our aim is to scale successful solutions that will channel capital towards decarbonising our economies at the pace demanded by the science.”

In Europe, the GFI will have an initial focus on decarbonising the built environment at a local, national and European level, with the aim of unlocking the capital required to increase renovation rates in specific European Member States.

In the European Union 75% of building stock is classed as “energy-inefficient” and responsible for 36% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, so greening Europe’s homes and commercial buildings will be vital to achieve net zero emissions.

But in order to solve this, there is an estimated €275 billion climate investment gap. In order to bridge the gap, the GFI aims to unlock capital at the pace and scale required to increase deep renovation rates in specific European member states and to achieve the ambitions of the European Green Deal.

GFI Denmark and Spain will be building upon the success of the GFI’s UK Built Environment Programme which has focused on generating capital for financing building decarbonisation, creating suitable conditions for scaling green building finance markets, and working with the finance industry and government to identify and remove barriers preventing the energy efficiency upgrades of buildings.

The GFI in Denmark, Spain and the UK will collaborate to share key learnings and expertise to tailor financial solutions to local markets, remove barriers to investment, and channel more capital into greening buildings.

Eduardo Brunet, new head of GFI Spain

In Spain, the GFI is focused on increasing the flow of private finance to decarbonise the economy with an initial focus on the built environment. It is also working to adapt its “Lender’s Handbook on green home retrofit and technologies” for the Spanish market to provide a vital resource for financial institutions looking to increase their awareness of the financial products and services which will facilitate the roll out of net-zero ready buildings.

In Denmark, the GFI has partnered with the World Climate Foundation to work with investors and the wider Danish real estate sector to design, operationalise, and bring to market financial mechanisms for de-risking and scaling up green real estate investment, initially in Denmark, but with the potential to scale into Nordic and other European countries.

The GFI’s expansion has been supported by funding from the Laudes Foundation. “Finance can play a pivotal role in combatting climate change and inequality in every industry, but no more so than the built environment,” said Amol Mehra, director of industry programmes, Laudes Foundation. “The GFI has a proven track record driving UK building decarbonisation by working collaboratively with the finance sector to overcome investment barriers while providing practical, inclusive and just solutions.”