Maribor is pursuing a mission to become climate neutral by 2030. We explored a high-level estimate of the value-case for this mission — ie. the Economic Case for Decarbonising Maribor.
The key points from this analysis are:
- A total investment of circa €960 million by 2030 will be needed to eliminate the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in Maribor by 2030
- The benefits to the Maribor community from better health and reduced energy costs would be worth circa €3.8 billion. That is a return of almost 4:1
- This investment is projected to generate at least 10.000 job-years of employment, or about 1300 full time positions over 8 years.
- This investment equates to circa €8700 per resident at an average of €120 million per year for the next 8 years.
The upsides of this mission for Maribor could be enormous. But the mission demands mobilisation of action and investment a scale and speed that is unprecedented (which is of course the whole point of a mission).
Now that the value-case is clear, the next question and challenge is how the Maribor community will respond to this opportunity.
Thriving Communities is ready to help Maribor with this core problem of how to organise, resource, plan and manage a process of radical enough change to achieve the mission and its benefits to the Maribor community.
How We Came to this Estimate
This high-level estimate of the Economic Case for Decarbonising Maribor was prepared to support Maribor’s application to the EU Commission to be recognised as one of the first 100 cities at the forefront of the Mission for Climate Neutral Cities by 2030.
The completed analysis of a net-zero pathway scenario for Slovenia covered transportation, buildings, heating, electricity and waste — about 57% of total national greenhouse gas emissions. While analysis of other sectors such as industry and agriculture is still required to address the remaining emissions at a national level, the analysed sectors cover a majority of the key emissions in an urban area like Maribor.
The ‘net-zero’ scenario modelled for Slovenia led to 76% greenhouse gas emission reductions in these sectors — from 9.9 MtCO2e per year to 2.4 MtCO2e by 2030.
The investment needed to achieve this comes to €9.6 billion by 2030 with potential returns to the citizens of Slovenia of almost €38 billion (almost a 300% return)
The above analysis indicates an excellent economic case for radical climate action in Slovenia. So, what portion of these investments would Maribor need to make and what share of the associated benefits could be expected?
The Maribor population of 112.000 is 5,3% of the total Slovenian population of 2.100.000. So in simple terms we could assume that the answer for Maribor would be 5,3% of the Slovenian totals.
However, the sectors analysed for the national case are more closely aligned to the change that needs to happen in urban environments. Therefore, we can assume that, as Slovenia’s second city, Maribor would need to make a greater share of these investments and reap a greater share of the benefits. So for this high-level estimate we used a weighted per-capita factor of 10% to turn the Slovenian analysis into estimated figures for the local Maribor context. The results were then as follows:
- A total investment of circa €960 million by 2030 will be needed to eliminate the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in Maribor
- The benefits to the Maribor community will be worth circa €3.8 billion — from better health and reduced energy costs. That is a return of almost 4:1
- This investment is projected to generate 10.000 job-years of employment, or about 1300 full time positions.
- This investment equates to circa €8700 per resident and an average of €120 million per year for the next 8 years.
This is of course only an approximation, which can be further refined with more tailored local analysis for Maribor, but it gives us an order of magnitude estimate.
Challenges in Getting from Theory to Action
Like for the national picture, some of the challenges for Maribor to connect the clear potential upsides to real action include:
- Communities like Maribor are not currently equipped or organised to deliver the scale and speed of climate action needed to achieve the mission. Radical changes in governance, organising and investment models will be needed to turn the potentials into reality
- Health benefits are generally poorly valued and accounted for when considering community investments, but they are key to the overall value equation for communities.
- There is a disconnect in the current economy between who should pay/invest and where the benefits of climate action accrue. This has to be solved for.
- The significant potential job creation needs systemic support, otherwise there will not be sufficient skilled people to fill the jobs and do the needed work (with flow on impacts on costs and implementation speed).
So, pursuing the mission of climate neutrality by 2030 clearly offers the Maribor community massive potential value, but business-as-usual won’t deliver the needed changes. The mission is possible, the benefits are there, and the question is how the Maribor community can now rise to the challenge.
For more information please contact: Tim Taylor: email@example.com