Renovation strategies will not deliver net-zero by 2050

(EurActiv, 11 Mar 2021) The European Union must set a precent of maximum ambition in the proposed revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), expected in Q4 this year, writes Oliver Rapf. Aiming anywhere below 100% misses the mark, he argues.

Are member states on track to deliver full decarbonisation of the building stock and realise our goal of a Renovation Wave in Europe, ensuring total decarbonisation of the building stock by 2050?

Following an analysis in September 2020 of the compliance of EU member states’ Long-Term Renovation Strategies (LTRS) with the requirements of the energy performance of buildings directive (EPBD), BPIE performed a deep-dive into eight LTRS strategies (accounting for over 50% of the EU population), based on supporting policies, targets, and funding schemes, in an effort to answer this question: are LTRS ambitious enough when it comes to decarbonising the building stock?

The results of our study are underwhelming. While some improvements have been made, we found that overall, member states continue to underplay the role of the building sector in the decarbonisation of Europe, and none of the strategies are in line with achieving climate-neutrality by 2050.

Why the buildings directive and long term renovation strategies matter

Buildings are responsible for 36% of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU; reaching our climate targets requires a clear roadmap to decarbonising our living and working spaces. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/31/EU (EPBD), amended in 2018, together with the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU (EED) is meant to trigger policies in the EU-27 towards achieving a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050, while providing a stable environment for investment decisions and enabling consumers and businesses to make more informed choices to save energy and money.

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EurActiv, 11 Mar 2021: Renovation strategies will not deliver net-zero by 2050