Panel 7. Policies and programmes for better buildings

The EU is committed to become climate neutral by 2050 and has proposed to increase the CO2 reduction target to at least 55% by 2030. The Green Deal, which aims at making the EU's economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for allconsiders the building sector a priority and has paved the way to the publication of the Renovation Wave and its actions plan.  

One of the priorities of the Green Deal and of the Renovation Wave is to ensure a ‘just transition for all’ to mitigate the social consequences of the transition towards a climate-neutral development model, which can be particularly severe for some regions, economic sectors and for the most vulnerable and economically unsecure part of the population.  

There is a compelling need to reshape the narrative around building policies, just transition and affordability in the EU and address concerns around the introduction of “policies just for rich people”. 

Change is hopefully coming soon via the Fitfor55 policy package and the revision Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Combined with policies providing a driver for energy efficiency in buildings as a stimulus to recover from the economic fallout of Covid-19, this is a timely opportunity to rethink and reset buildings policy in Europe and globally.  

There are a multitude of interesting and innovative experiences that can be brought into the event to help foster exchange of information. Much more effective buildings policies are needed to achieve a highly efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050. Considering the drive towards reducing in-use energy to “nearly zero”, sources of carbon emissions from buildings, beyond in-use operational energy demand, also become increasingly important and therefore a vital part of future carbon reduction plans. 

We welcome contributions that focus on issues such as: 

  • Analysis of ongoing European initiatives (policies and programmes) around the Green Deal, the Renovation Wave and the Fitfor55 package (including EPBD). 
  • International initiatives around green recovery and buildings renovation programmes. 
  • Innovative policy instruments that deliver much deeper reductions in carbon emissions from buildings (ideas/concepts for new instruments, evaluation of existing approaches).
  • Innovative financing schemes for fostering deep retrofit.
  • Policy instruments aimed at introducing the nearly zero energy standard to the existing building stock. 
  • Innovative retrofit concepts also valuing non-energy benefits (accessibility, comfort, health, etc.) and how these can be brought to market through policy instruments. 
  • Policy approaches that combine the building-specific with a municipal planning level (local/regional heat planning). 
  • How to best deal with conflicting interests between delivering deep renovations and providing affordable housing? 
  • Impacts of the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme and the Social Climate Fund at EU level on the just transition of the buildings sector. 
  • How to link multiple benefits, indoor environmental quality, energy and carbon performance in building regulation? 
  • How to align carbon and energy metrics in building policies and incentives? 

Panel leaders

Sibylle Braungardt

Sibylle Braungardt, Öko-Institut, Germany

Sibylle is a senior researcher and project manager in the Energy and Climate Division at Öko-Institut in Freiburg. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of policy instruments for increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies in buildings. Sibylle has coordinated and participated in numerous research projects at international, European, national and community level. Prior to joining Öko-Institut, she worked as a Senior Researcher at the Competence Center for Energy Policy and Energy Markets at Fraunhofer ISI. She obtained her PhD at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona in 2011 and holds a diploma in Physics and a Masters degree in Environmental Sciences. Since 2015, Sibylle is a lecturer at Freiburg University in the field of energy policy.

Mariangiola Fabbri

Mariangiola Fabbri, BPIE, Belgium

Mariangiola has over 15 years of experience in energy efficiency and climate change policy analysis and a deep understanding of EU policy making. As Head of Research at BPIE, she leads the research team and supervises BPIE’s wide range of outputs. She is directly involved in the policy work related to the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the European Green Deal. As Senior Project Manager, she managed several projects including iBRoad (individual Building Renovation Roadmap, H2020), EmBuild (H2020) aiming at supporting public authorities in Southeast European countries in developing a long-term strategy for the renovation of the building stock, Financing the future of buildings in Central, Eastern and South-East Europe, De-Risking Energy Efficiency Investments and the Feasibility Study of Art.19a of the EBPD.

Before joining BPIE, she worked as energy consultant at Dunsky Energy Consulting in Montreal, where she carried out primary and secondary research on energy efficiency financing, market transformation, programme evaluation, market analysis and characterization and best practices reviews of residential and commercial programmes. Mariangiola has a solid knowledge of the EU energy efficiency policies, built during her experience as Senior Policy Officer at WWF EPO in Brussels. In this role she led the organization’s energy efficiency work, contributing to the adoption and implementation of a wide range of policies, including the recast of the EPBD, the Climate and Energy Package, and the Eco-design and Energy Services Directives. She also served on the board of CAN-Europe and Topten International Group. She then became Senior Partnership Manager for WWF Climate Business Engagement unit, managing international partnerships with the private sector. Mariangiola holds a Masters in European political and administrative studies from the College of Europe and a Masters in Environmental law from Ca’ Foscari University.

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