Germany’s climate targets require 100,000 more skilled workers

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In order for Germany to reach its long-term climate targets, an additional 100,000 skilled workers are needed to upgrade homes for greater energy efficiency, a study has found.

Each year, 2 per cent of the buildings in Germany will need to be better insulated and made more climate-friendly, according to the study by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Oeko-Institut) seen by dpa on Wednesday.

Some 50 per cent more skilled workers are needed for improvements to windows and outside walls, and also for heating and equipment technology.

“The safeguarding of skilled personnel for the implementation of the energy revolution must take on a priority role for the political agenda,” the study’s authors wrote.

They recommend that the government do more to ensure there are enough new people training to do the upgrades, and provide planning security for firms working in the area.

“Short-term support programmes and constant political discussions about the introduction of instruments are counterproductive,” they wrote.

The German government plans to achieve “virtually climate neutral” buildings nationwide by 2050.

Buildings – especially through heating, hot water provision and air-conditioning units – accounted for one third of Germany’s total energy use in 2015.

Germany’s leading association for building technology, the German Cement Works Association (VdZ) has said it needs 20,000 new workers by 2025.

In a study for the Federal Association for Energy Efficient Building Envelopes (BuVEG), the Munich-based Research Institute for Heat Insulation (FIW) estimates that 215,000 new workers are needed for energy improvements.