A Green Deal that works for everyone – Making the renovation wave a reality

(EurActiv, 21 Jan 2020) The European Commission’s announced renovation wave offers an opportunity to bring the EU back on track when it comes to energy efficiency measures in buildings, write Marion Santini and Jan Rosenow.

Marion Santini is a researcher at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental organisation dedicated to accelerating the transition to a clean, reliable, and efficient energy future.  Jan Rosenow is Principal and European Programme Director at RAP.

Change is in the air. European leaders agreed in December that Europe would adopt a net-zero emissions target for 2050. The European Commission announced that it will put forward new legislation by March to enshrine climate neutrality in law.

The Commission has issued a list of initiatives to reach carbon neutrality while leaving no one behind. This includes a building “renovation wave,” details of which will be announced later this year.

This is a welcome and urgent development: Buildings generate 36% of total carbon emissions and are responsible for 40% of energy consumption in Europe. We need clean and smart buildings to have any chance of meeting a net-zero target by 2050. Renovating Europe’s ageing building stock also brings a multitude of tangible benefits to citizens who will enjoy improved living conditions and lower energy bills.

The strength in energy efficiency

All EU Member States have significant energy efficiency potential, including nations in Central and Eastern Europe that are gathering valuable experience in revamping poorly performing buildings.

Ensuring that the renovation wave reaches all geographies in the European Union is a key element of the EU energy transition. Analysis from Fraunhofer ISI shows that tapping all available cost-effective savings potential across sectors could halve the EU’s energy demand by 2050.

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EurActiv, 21 Jan 2020: A Green Deal that works for everyone – Making the renovation wave a reality