Construction & Real Estate

EU aims to renovate 35m buildings by 2030

The European Commission aims to renovate 35 million buildings by 2020 and create up to 160,000 additional green jobs in the construction sector.

The Commission aims to at least double renovation rates in the next ten years and make sure renovations lead to higher energy and resource efficiency.

This will enhance the quality of life for people living in and using the buildings, reduce Europe's greenhouse gas emissions, foster digitalisation and improve the reuse and recycling of materials, the Commission said in its newly published Renovation Wave Strategy for improving the energy performance of buildings.

Buildings are responsible for about 40% of the EU's energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions from energy. But only 1% of buildings undergo energy efficient renovation every year, so effective action is crucial to making Europe climate-neutral by 2050.

With nearly 34 million Europeans unable to afford keeping their homes heated, public policies to promote energy efficient renovation are also a response to energy poverty, support the health and wellbeing of people and help reduce their energy bills. The Commission has also published today a Recommendation for Member States on tackling energy poverty.

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said: “We want everyone in Europe to have a home they can light, heat, or cool without breaking the bank or breaking the planet. The Renovation Wave will improve the places where we work, live and study, while reducing our impact on the environment and providing jobs for thousands of Europeans. We need better buildings if we want to build back better.”

Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said: “The green recovery starts at home. With the Renovation Wave we will tackle the many barriers that today make renovation complex, expensive and time consuming, holding back much needed action. We will propose better ways to measure renovation benefits, minimum energy performance standards, more EU funding and technical assistance encourage green mortgages and support more renewables in heating and cooling. This will be a game changer for home-owners, tenants and public authorities.”

The strategy will prioritise action in three areas: decarbonisation of heating and cooling; tackling energy poverty and worst-performing buildings; and renovation of public buildings such as schools, hospitals and administrative buildings. The Commission proposes to break down existing barriers throughout the renovation chain – from the conception of a project to its funding and completion - with a set of policy measures, funding tools and technical assistance instruments. – TradeArabia News Service