- KfW-financed model programme winner of a UNFCCC award
- USD 230 million for energy-efficient housing construction in Mexico
- Based on the German KfW promotional programmes for energy-efficient construction
The secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has announced on 6 November 2013 that it has given an award to a programme co-financed by KfW for sustainable housing construction in Mexico (EcoCasa). Around USD 230 million has gone into the EcoCasa programme, with KfW contributing over USD 128 million (Inter American Development Bank USD 102 million, including USD 51.5 million from the Clean Technology Fund). KfW is funding EcoCasa via the Mexican state development bank Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal (SHF) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the EU Commission as well as the NAMA facility of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The programme runs for a period of seven years, during which private investment of roughly half a billion US dollars is to be mobilised for the construction of over 38,000 energy-efficient houses and 600 passive houses for lower income segments.
“The Mexican EcoCasa programme not only saves over a million tons of carbon dioxide emissions throughout the entire life cycle of the houses but also provides a new level of residential quality, thus improving living conditions for many families. This is a valuable contribution placing Mexico on a green trajectory in development in the housing sector,” said Dr Norbert Kloppenburg, a member of the KfW Group’s Executive Board.
Based on the system used in the German KfW programmes for energy-efficient construction, EcoCasa establishes three fixed energy efficiency standards, which are promoted in the form of inexpensive loans and direct grants among other things. In this way, the Mexican government is creating an incentive for the construction of low-energy houses and the use of modern technology, such as facade cladding, building insulation and solar panels, which particularly reduce the energy required to cool buildings. Such houses require at least twenty percent less energy than conventional buildings.
EcoCasa is incorporated into a “Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action” (“NAMA” for short), which has been launched by the Mexican government for sustainable housing and developed with the aid of German Technical Cooperation. NAMAs, which have arisen as a financing instrument from the UN climate protection talks, are voluntary climate protection activities established by emerging and developing countries to sever the link between economic growth and emissions of greenhouse gases. In return, these countries receive international support. The specific NAMA on which the EcoCasa programme is based has its origins in a proposal tabled by the Mexican government at the Durban Climate Summit in 2011. For the first time, climate protection funding is being mobilised from various international sources to promote the implementation of a NAMA.
“The course being taken with EcoCasa is an innovative new approach to climate protection in Mexico. In this way, Mexico is adopting a pioneering role for emerging and developing countries in terms of the instruments used in housing construction,” said Dr Kloppenburg.
As an emerging country, Mexico has been seeing a steady rise in energy consumption for a long time, with seventeen percent of this attributable to private homes. Driven by swift population growth - Mexico’s population increases by an average of 2 million per year - and the desire of the growing middle class for improved residential quality, demand for homes will continue to rise sharply over the next few years. For this reason, energy-efficient housing construction offers the Mexican government an important lever for capping energy consumption and protecting the climate.
KfW is one of the world’s largest financers of climate and environment protection programmes. In 2012, roughly 60 percent (EUR 2.8 billion) of the KfW Development Bank’s new commitments were for environmental and climate protection finance, making it one of the world’s largest financers of renewable energies in developing countries.