Green new deal for housing will ease climate and social crises

(EurActiv, 19 Jun 2019) Recent years have seen greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption increasing, while 50 million EU citizens live in energy poverty. Addressing climate and social crises requires a green new deal for housing to unlock vast investments in building renovations.

News reports around the EU’s strategic agenda for the years 2019-2024 show that leaders are zooming in on four priorities in response to a changing and more complex world. There is not a single mention of buildings, houses or homes in the draft text.

This must change when leaders meet to decide on the strategic agenda during the European Council meeting on 20 and 21 June. Investing in construction and renovation can help Europe to implement all four priorities.

The building sector is responsible for around 36 percent of European CO2 emissions. This means that getting buildings right is vital in the fight against the climate emergency.

Fortunately, buildings can fully decarbonise by 2050 using solutions such as better insulation that are already commercially available. This would lower the total cost of achieving a climate-neutral Europe by helping to reduce peak heating and cooling demand.

Buildings are also critical for tackling Europe’s social problems. Millions of people are still living in leaky houses that they cannot afford to properly heat or cool. This has a significant impact on their health, as up to 90% of our time is spent indoors.

External link

EurActiv, 19 Jun 2019: Green new deal for housing will ease climate and social crises