New BPIE study: How can policy innovation help decarbonize the building stock in Europe?

(eceee news, 25 Jan 2019) A new project – Policy Innovation for Building Renovation – aims to help acceleration and replication of innovative policies. Innovation is needed in key areas like policy, technology, finance, governance, and market supply, BPIE claims.

The building sector accounts for 36% of Europe’s CO emissions and 40% of its energy consumption. Despite a great need and vast market potential, the pace and depth of energy renovations remain slow.

According to BPIE, several countries and local authorities have introduced innovative policies and programmes to stimulate deep renovation and reduce the CO2 emissions of the building sector. However, a broad dissemination and application of these policies are not taking place. The exchange of information and experiences across regions is much lower than what would be desirable and research shows that most policy processes are detached from the people on the ground and lack the flexibility to adapt once underway.

Policymaking is traditionally depicted as a linear process, starting with identifying a problem and ends with an ex-post evaluation. Policymakers tend to respond to a problem with a “pre-coded” solution to quickly or easily solve the issue, an approach that offers little room for novelty, BPIE writes.

The new BPIE project sets out the foundation for an acceleration and replication of innovative policies to decarbonize the building stock. It explores how policy innovation can be increased through the Building Policy Innovation Exchange (BPIX) and how to best support policymakers and implement ambitious renovation programmes.

Accelerating deep renovation requires a systemic transformation of the construction sector, which can only be enabled by innovation in key areas like policy, technology, finance, governance, and market supply, BPIE writes.

The BPIX initiative will further explore the opportunity to develop this model in the future.

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Download the brief here