Energy specialist John Berger showcases the economic benefits of climate action and regenerative development in Copenhagen, in a series of Huffington Post blogs. The big news: “Every time Copenhagen spends one dollar on its climate plan, it generates $85 in private investment elsewhere in the city, according to the city’s climate director Jørgen Abildgaard. It takes the form of investment in new buildings, in building retrofits, in different kinds of mobility services, and in new infrastructure, such as the city’s new incineration plant and district heating system.:
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Abildgaard emphasized that, when seeking cooperation with climate plan measures, it’s “extremely important” to make an economic case for them and to have a dialogue with building owners, investors, construction companies, and “with all the people that are behind the investments,” to show them the benefits. “Without that, we would never get to the target.”
“[Measures] should not be more expensive either for the city, for citizens, or in socioeconomic calculation,” he added. When benefits don’t all appear on the bottom line, he noted, they may nonetheless improve a corporation’s reputation as a socially responsible business.
In the case of a new and older buildings alike, energy efficiency investments can add value for the developer because the buildings or the flats are likely to have lower operating costs. “That is also a value for the new owner,” Abildgaard explained.
Economic studies by the city indicate that the its climate plan will generate an economic surplus of close to $1 billion over the lifetime of the initiatives comprising the plan.