As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast a shadow on the world in 2021, the impact on society and the global economy continues to grow in intensity. In Poland, as in many other countries, the need to secure economic recovery in both the short and long term is vital – and action is required to ensure that when the health crisis ends, the economy can be stimulated.
During the summer of 2020, a group of energy efficiency experts, including representatives from ROCKWOOL, came together to address the Polish Prime Minister, along with several high-ranking ministers, and appeal for financial support for energy efficiency renovation initiatives throughout Poland. The letter highlighted the vast potential that insulating the existing building stock could have – not only benefiting those using the spaces in question, but also boosting the economy and being kinder to the environment. The senders represented a variety of industry sectors as well as social organisations with focus on economic slowdown and future forecasting.
Urging the government to invest in energy efficiency renovations, the letter focused on the many associated benefits; how it is key to better health and well-being for Polish citizens, how it can create and maintain local jobs, and reduce energy bills – all while helping to improve air quality and Poland's compliance with EU guidelines concerning energy efficiency, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and use of renewable energy.
This blog shares some of the compelling arguments included in the letter to the key members of the Polish government.
By systematically renovating existing building stock to become more energy efficient, a reservoir of jobs can be created that give the economy a significant boost. According to the Institute for Structural Research, accelerating the pace of such renovations in Poland could contribute to the creation of 100,000 direct jobs and decrease the unemployment rate by approximately 0.4 percent per year over the next few years. As over 93 percent of the housing stock in Poland is single-family homes, approximately 80 percent of these jobs would be associated with upgrading these villa-style buildings, primarily installing insulation which has a three to four times greater effect on labour demand than the modernisation of existing installations. A report developed for the European Climate Foundation states that a further 200,000 indirect and secondary jobs – connected to energy efficiency renovation through the supply chain – could also be created per year as a result of the deep energy modernisation of buildings in Poland. These estimations were made before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, making them ever more relevant during a time when the job crisis battles for headlines alongside the health crisis.