Buildings are responsible for 40% of the EU’s final energy and 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions – more if the life cycle impacts of construction materials are included. This briefing sets tests for proposed legislation across the Fit for 55 package and beyond for getting on track to climate neutrality.
Buildings’ energy consumption needs to fall by 14%, and associated emissions by 60%, to meet Europe’s 2030 climate target. The sector is highly complex: fragmented in its value chains, fragmented in the EU’s policy framework. It is currently off the pace – the annual rate of ‘deep’ renovation currently languishes at 0.2% and needs to rise to 3% by 2030.
An ambitious and cohesive package of policy and legislation is needed to drive buildings’ clean transition at the pace required, in a way that is fair and affordable for households and businesses, and that secures considerable strategic benefits. This briefing sets four overarching benchmarks for numerous proposals – those already published and yet to come – in the Fit for 55 package and other European Green Deal policy currently under consideration:
The Renovation Wave contributes to core European priorities: not only climate neutrality, but the creation of green and local jobs, and healthier, affordable to run homes and workplaces accross Europe. However, the EU’s buildings face the largest climate investment gap in any sector. Renovation at this scale – whether delivered for individual homes, neighbourhoods, cities or regions – presents an opportunity to drive many mutually supportive facets of deep decarbonisation.
Drawing on these opportunities and challenges, E3G sets out four tests for the Fit for 55 package and other European Green Deal policy and legislation to meet, and reccomendations for meeting these four tests:
- Rapidly increase the rate and depth of renovation, and make new buildings future-fit
- Prioritise smart and efficient decarbonisation of heating and cooling
- Secure a fair, affordable and inclusive buildings transition
- Harness buildings to accelerate wider transformation