2022 has shown how important it is to live in homes that can protect us from the reckless actions of petrostates, and from skyrocketing fossil energy prices. For many families, it will be hard, if not impossible, to enjoy the Christmas period in healthy and comfortable homes. EU institutions, including the European Central Bank (ECB), can make sure that this will be the last Christmas of this kind. 

The EU needs to renovate 35 million buildings by 2030 to lower carbon emissions and bills for people. The bad news is that the financial challenge is huge – there is currently an investment gap of 275 billion euros per year to achieve the EU’s renovation targets. But there is also good news! That is, that finance solutions do exist, what is needed is the political will to unlock them.

With our Unlock campaign, we are advocating for the ECB to apply a green discount rate on its loans to commercial banks, under the condition that the commercial banks, in turn, use these loans to offer zero-percent loans to their customers for energy efficient renovations. This would make sure that the banking system also does its part to finance a home renovation wave across Europe. Moreover, by contributing to make the Eurozone’s buildings greener and more energy efficient, the ECB could also curb the current trend of rising prices, which are mainly driven by the increasing costs of the fossil fuel energy that European homes depend on. In other words, by implementing this policy, the ECB would be acting in pursuit of its primary mandate of maintaining price stability.

On several occasions during 2022, ECB President Christine Lagarde reiterated that she was open to considering our demands. This Christmas, we wish that the central bank would move from words to deeds, and take concrete steps to adopt policy solutions that put people and the planet first. 

Positive Money Europe and Unlock’s supporters are joining us today in sharing these Christmas wishes with ECB President Christine Lagarde.

Want to take action? Hit the button to tweet your Christmas card to President Lagarde!


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