Why European mayors support ambitious building retrofitting goals

(EurActiv, 7 Mar 2023) Europe must triple investments in the annual retrofitting of buildings, starting with the most vulnerable households, in order to meet the EU’s 2030 climate targets and curb dependence on fossil gas, writes Júlia López Ventura.

Júlia López Ventura is director of the European region of the C40 Cities network.

Europe is under a perfect storm. The intersection of multiple crises is putting leaders and citizens of European countries on the ropes.

The health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, from which we barely had time to start recovering, has been compounded by a terrible energy crisis exacerbated by the worst war in Europe in the last seven decades, a climate crisis that has left us with extreme heat waves and floods as well as a cost-of-living crisis that is deepening the continent’s inequalities and squeezing domestic economies with unaffordable purchase prices and energy bills for many citizens.

The concept of energy poverty, unfortunately, is no longer alien to us. In this alarming context, the role of local authorities in the energy crisis is more crucial than ever, as the closest level of government to the day-to-day needs of their citizens.

The mayors of Europe’s large and small cities have taken pains to protect the most vulnerable from the unacceptable choice between paying the energy bills or feeding themselves.

Energy advisory centres such as those promoted by the cities of Barcelona or Rome have become indispensable for many citizens who despair about the rising price of electricity.

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EurActiv, 7 Mar 2023: Why European mayors support ambitious building retrofitting goals