Building industry calls for EU-wide 2050 energy efficiency vision

A coalition of industry-leading businesses from the building sector including AkzoNobel, Philips Lighting and Siemens have urged the European Commission (EC) to implement continent-wide action to improve the energy efficiency of Europe's building stock.

A letter addressed to the EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President Frans Timmermans by a group of 42 representatives from the European building sector is calling for the European Union (EU) to create a clear 2050 vision which ensures that all buildings have a very high energy performance.

The alliance states that a “Nearly Zero Energy” building stock by 2050 would provide an opportunity to create jobs and economic growth in line with climate change commitments set in the Paris Agreement.

The letter reads: “It is clear that the Paris commitment cannot be honoured without drastically reducing energy consumption in our buildings; the EU building stock emits over one-third of our CO2 emissions, three-quarters of our buildings are inefficient, and up to four-fifths will still be in use in 2050. We need EU wide action to drive the transformation of our inefficient building stock and make it a resilient component of the energy system of the 21stcentury.”


The coalition suggests that a clear 2050 vision must be aligned with the European Parliament’s call and the EU’s 2030 energy and climate objectives.

The letter continues: “EU wide leadership and action in the construction and building sector will spur European jobs and growth (in particular for SMEs which make up 90% of the construction sector). A high level political commitment for renovation will give industry the much needed signal and certainty to unlock investments, in turn removing some of the market failures.

“Most of all, making Europe’s buildings better through a mass EU-wide renovation movement will bring invaluable benefits to the whole of society by helping deliver something that every European citizen wants and deserves: a comfortable, safe and affordable home.  This is a ‘win-win’ for Europe.”

In March, a group of climate investors urged the EU to create and implement a binding, long-term target that re-shapes energy frameworks and pushes building sectors across the continent towards a Near-Zero energy standard by 2050.

Elsewhere, the World Green Building Council recently unveiled a bold Advancing Net Zero project, which will ensure that all of the world’s buildings are ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050.

Last week, energy and building sector professionals from across Europe united to forge a ground-breaking new initiative which offers better borrowing rates on mortgages for homebuyers that commit to purchasing more energy-efficient homes or carrying out energy-saving retrofits within properties.

On a city scope, London – largely considered a prime example of the green building environment – has been urged to mirror Paris’s strategies in order to become the global leader on green buildings, as a current emphasis on quantity over quality hinders overall efficiency.

George Ogleby

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