Energy-efficient building renovation: a Franco-German challenge

(EurActiv, 6 Nov 2020) To achieve climate neutrality by 2050, the question of renovating buildings to be more energy-efficient is of crucial importance. More than ever before, it is the subject of debate on both sides of the Rhine. EURACTIV France and Germany report.

Even before the EU adopted its climate neutrality target for 2050, many EU countries had committed themselves to achieving that goal at the national level, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Since the building sector is responsible for 36% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, energy-efficient renovation of existing buildings is seen as an essential element in the fight against climate change.

France and Germany have been working on this issue for several years, with mixed success so far.

But the debate has gained fresh momentum in recent months on the back of the European Commission’s “renovation wave” initiative, one of the flagship programmes of the European Green Deal.

New investments in France

In France, the building sector is responsible for almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. This pollution is all the more worrying as the number of buildings undergoing thermal renovation remains low. According to the French low-emission buildings observatory, only 18,500 units have undergone thermal refurbishment since the beginning of the year.

To reach its climate targets, the French government has announced that it will make energy efficiency improvements a “national priority”.

As part of a renovation plan presented last September, almost €7 billion in fresh money will be dedicated to this project for the period up to 2022. These will be allocated in particular to public buildings with €4 billion and private homes with €2 billion.

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EurActiv, 6 Nov 2020: Energy-efficient building renovation: a Franco-German challenge