All posts from: November 2009
I visited Thames Gateway Forum yesterday, in hopes of hearing some solid details on how this rundown area of the south-east will be recreated as an eco-region. At the moment, they are having enough trouble getting ordinary investment into it, let alone the cash needed to go the extra green mile. Most of the speeches were about vision rather than practicalities – but I was encouraged by comments from Simon Brooks, vice-president of the European Investment bank.
He said that the EIB, an arm of the European Union which invests money into large infrastructure projects, is increasingly looking at climate change when making investment decisions. ‘We are increasingly mainstreaming climate change considerations throughout our investment portfolio,’ said Mr Brooks. That includes adaptation – putting things in to cope with flooding or higher temperatures – as well as spending money into basic green measures such an energy efficiency, that aren’t necessarily ‘glamorous’.
Mr Brooks specifically mentioned retrofitting, which will hopefully mean that there will be European cash available to be sent in sort out our old and poorly insulated houses. Britain has the oldest housing stock in Europe, which makes it harder to upgrade, so we will need all the help that we can get – and ideally from an organisation that is happy to invest in long–term projects like the EIB.