Green Building Finance and Investments: Practice, Policy and Research

Published in European Economic Review
Energy efficiency, Investments

The Stern Review (Stern, 2008) has put the debate regarding climate change firmly in the economics literature. Nordhaus (2007) and Weitzmann (2007) have challenged some of the key assumptions made by Stern, but the main conclusion stands: the world needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as a precaution against the possible effects of global warming. An influential McKinsey report (Enkvist et al., 2007) has shown that the building and property sector can play a central role in this reduction. Research into the performance of energy-efficient buildings and green markets, and of firms’ behavior in these markets (Kotchen, 2006; Eichholtz et al., 2010; Kitzmueller and Shimshack, in preparation) is becoming part of the mainstream literature.

To strengthen this development, the University of California, Berkeley, and Maastricht University have joined forces in organizing a series of conferences concerning these issues. The second conference in this series took place in Maastricht, on March 22–24, 2011. The event covered 2 days, the first of which was mostly policy-oriented, and the second firmly academic in nature. On that second day, six papers were presented, and five of those are included in this special issue of the European Economic Review. The five papers all focus on green investments in the residential sector, which is the largest real estate market, and which could therefore have most impact on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The papers take quite different approaches to this general theme.



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