When it comes to saving energy, there’s no place like home!

(EurActiv, 23 Nov 2018) Europeans spend almost all their time in buildings. For many of us, that means up to 90% of the day is passed in offices and schools, in hospitals and shops, and at home, writes Jan te Bos.

an te Bos is the director general of Eurima, the European insulation manufacturers’ association.

Buildings account for more than 40% of the EU’s energy bill and are responsible for over a third of European carbon-dioxide emissions.

Still, we tend to see cutting greenhouse-gas emissions mainly as the responsibility of big factories and power companies.

This needs to change. To avoid a dangerous escalation in global temperatures, we need buildings to help Europe reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. “Net zero” means all greenhouse-gas emissions have to be reduced and offset completely, making activities carbon neutral.

A new study by clean-energy consultancy ClimAct for Eurima examines different possible scenarios for bringing emissions down to net zero. The study concludes that, without renovation of the building stock, there is no way of reaching carbon neutrality before 2050.

For the EU to reach net zero, 3% of buildings need to be renovated every year, up from just 1% today. It’s essential for buildings to deliver their share of energy and greenhouse-gas reductions. Europe can do this, but sustained efforts and a real engagement are needed from decision makers.

The EU is now drafting a long-term climate-change policy, to take the bloc up to mid-century without allowing temperatures to creep any closer to dangerous levels.

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EurActiv, 23 Nov 2018: When it comes to saving energy, there’s no place like home!