Building for a new Europe
(EurActiv, 9 Oct 2020) Buildings use more energy than anything else in the EU. Our building stock is simply not energy efficient. Despite some national efforts, we are still struggling to drive renovation up to the level needed to make a difference in the fight against climate change.
The existing building stock in Europe is not sustainable. We need to modernise the worst energy performing of our buildings. That means we need minimum energy performance standards, set in law and progressively tightened, for homes, schools, hospitals, factories and offices around the EU bloc. We need to build a new Europe.
Buildings are responsible for some 40 percent of energy consumption and 36 percent of CO2 emissions in the EU. Governments have agreed to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050 – but this is an impossible dream unless we start renovating now.
We expect a Renovation Wave strategy from the European Commission soon, to address huge shortcomings in buildings’ renovations around the EU. If we get this right, it will give a huge boost to Europe’s industries – at a time when unemployment is set to soar, during and following the Coronavirus pandemic. Renovating 210 million existing buildings could create several millions new construction and renovation jobs in the EU.