Fit and fair: The case for a European fund for targeted renovation

(EurActiv, 11 Jun 2021) The introduction of carbon pricing in the building sector will increase the need for social climate spending, argue Louise Sunderland and Samuel Thomas.

Louise Sunderland and Samuel Thomas are both senior advisors at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). 

This week European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans revealed that any extension of carbon pricing to heating and transport would be accompanied by a “climate action social fund.” He states the purpose of this fund is to compensate for possible adverse effects, especially for the most vulnerable citizens.

Our new report Pricing is just the Icing assesses these impacts and carbon pricing’s role in the buildings sector. We propose ambitious regulatory reform and a socially focussed renovation fund — not unlike what Timmermans has proposed this week — supported by a gradual and measured introduction of carbon pricing, either at an EU or member state level.

Social climate spending is needed regardless of carbon pricing

Timmermans explains the necessity for this fund as a consequence of the introduction of carbon pricing, but it is needed and justified even if the Commission does not proceed with the pricing proposals. Europe has already set itself social objectives for the energy transition to be “just and inclusive” and for the Renovation Wave to alleviate energy poverty this decade.

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EurActiv, 11 Jun 2021: Fit and fair: The case for a European fund for targeted renovation