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Zero carbon buildings 2050

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© CE Delft, Delft

© CE Delft, Delft

A net-zero economy by 2050 in the EU requires bold action across all sectors, and in none more than buildings. The building sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.


In its long-term strategy for 2050, the European Commission recognises the need for a near-complete decarbonisation of the building sector to meet its climate goals. At the same time, citizens have a lot to gain from decarbonisation of buildings, including health, employment, lower household energy bills, and system cost savings.


A new report released today by the ECF, prepared by CE Delft, shows that despite the necessity, benefits and urgency to decarbonise Europe’s buildings, the sector is not currently on a trajectory to zero-carbon by 2050. Current policies focusing on incentives and information are not enough for reaching this target.


Focusing on three areas where the emissions reduction potential is the greatest, namely the energy performance of the existing building envelope, energy carriers, and building materials, the report recommends a first-ever long-term roadmap of policies to deliver essential carbon reductions in the residential building sector.