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Towards a healthy renovated Europe

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Credits: CAN Europe

Renovating our buildings is an opportunity that cannot be missed. Tackling climate change, edning energy poverty & creating green jobs are win-win-win for Europe.

The publication includes some insights concerning:


The hidden costs of Europe´s decrepit buildings: Europe’s buildings are among the biggest contributors to the climate crisis, as well as health inequality, but to date one of the least addressed. In Europe, buildings account for around 40% of all energy consumed, and 36% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. More than seven out of ten buildings are energy inefficient. The vast majority (85-95%) of buildings standing today will still be in use in 2050, when the EU aims to be climate neutral. Addressing the impact of buildings is thus a key challenge. Failure to take action on the threat of climate change could result in losses for Europe of €240 billion every year by the end of the century (...)


The multiple benefits of renovated buildings in Europe: Deep energy renovations, coupled with the move towards 100% renewable energy, are key to harness the multiple environmental, economic and social benefits that stem from a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock. Environmental benefits include: energy savings, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and improved air quality. Economic benefits include: lower energy bills for people, increased innovation and competitiveness for the construction industry, strengthened energy security and new employment opportunities. Social benefits include: improved societal wellbeing thanks to healthier homes and offices, and improved productivity.


What is needed: Building renovation stands out as the only option to improve Europe’s inefficient and polluting buildings, with massive benefits to the environment, health and society- while generating millions of green jobs. However, the current pace of renovations is too slow to fully decarbonise the building sector in line with the climate neutrality objective. To achieve this win-win-win, Europe needs to increase the annual rate of renovations to at least 3% and promote deep renovations that maximisethe energy savings. To this end, mandatory minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) complemented with social measures and adequate technical assistance already in use in many countries worldwide, are the most effective policy tool to steer the sector and reap all the benefits.