Homes account for 11.5 percent of Italy’s greenhouse gas emissions, but fortunately, the country’s green “superbonus” scheme is encouraging record numbers of residents to make sustainable upgrades to their homes and businesses. Under the program, the Italian government will pay an impressive 110 percent of the cost to adopt green technology like solar panels, energy efficient boilers, and insulated windows.
In addition to encouraging homeowners to go green, the new program has also boosted gross domestic product (GDP) by an estimated 0.7 percent this year as engineers and builders rush to meet the demand. Additionally, it exemplifies the job creation power of a green transition as it has created 153,000 jobs.
Some critics point out the corresponding high cost to the state of making such subsidies available, but Italy claims that the environmental and economic benefits outweigh the costs. The program is slated to run through 2025, but will be scaled down next year. Other countries, like France, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Denmark offer similar subsidies, though not as large.
“It is clearly positive both for reducing emissions and improving the air quality of our cities,” Michele Governatori, from the climate and energy think-tank ECCO, told Reuters. However, most experts recommend that the initiative be paired with equal emphasis on greener transportation and renewable energy sources to make the effort truly worthwhile.