On the first day of Ursula von der Leyen’s European Commission, 12 major European clean energy associations joined forces, calling for a bold strategy concerning the renovation of the EU building stock to be part of the European Green Deal – with on-site renewables, energy efficiency, and smart energy solutions at its core.
In light of the European Parliament having just declared a continent-wide climate emergency, the statement – signed by the Coalition for Energy Savings, Energy Cities, the European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EuroACE), the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), the European Building Automation and Controls Association (eu.bac), the European Association for Electrical Contractors (EuropeOn), the European Builders Confederation (EBC), the European Climate Foundation (ECF), The European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), smartEn, SolarPower Europe, and E3G – highlights the need to develop ambitious actions for the renovation of Europe’s existing building stock, which accounts for 36% of the region’s CO2 emissions and approximately half of total European energy demand.
The signatories urge the Commission to ensure that Green Deal policies include simplified and streamlined financing mechanisms accessible to all Europeans; the deployment of strategy to ensure a skilled and knowledgeable workforce in all trades and specialised crafts of the building sector; and the promotion of renovation strategies adapted to the diversity and heterogeneity of the European built environment. The establishment of a multi-level implementation platform for building renovations – engaging decision-makers from the local, national, and European level, as well as representatives from the energy, construction, and financing sectors – will be key to ensuring the delivery of these strategies on the ground.
The statement further points out that the solutions required to address these issues already exist in Europe: including, high performance envelopes, energy efficient products and services, on-site renewables, energy storage facilities, and digitally enabled energy management systems. By calling on the Commission to commit to concrete actions to roll-out these solutions, signatories highlight that the buildings we live, work, and study in must be part of the solution to facilitating a European Green Deal, and ensuring a just transition for all Europeans.