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European Commission should intensify political action in 2021 to align Renovation Wave with EU Climate Targets, BPIE says.

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In its new analysis of the Renovation Wave, BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe) urges the European Commission to intensify political coordination and coherence in the implementation phase of the Renovation Wave strategy, to ensure full decarbonisation of the EU building stock in line with EU climate goals.


According to the analysis,  the Renovation Wave’s ambition should lead to an annual deep renovation rate from 0.2% to 3% to achieve the 60% GHG emissions reductions of buildings, required to achieve the EU 2030 climate targets. BPIE’s proposed ambition level indicates that renovation efforts required to achieve EU climate targets in reality represents a factor of fifteen compared to current practice.


“The Renovation Wave is a historical initiative, having recognised the crucial role of buildings in the fight against climate change and the potential of the buildings sector to contribute to a sustainable economic recovery,” says Oliver Rapf, Executive Director at BPIE.


“The next step is to turn it into robust and coherent regulation which delivers on the levels of energy demand reduction and decarbonisation required to meet the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate targets.”

BPIE encourages the European Commission to consider the future regulation for buildings with a comprehensive perspective. Making buildings and cities resilient against the increasing impacts of climate change should be included in renovation strategies. Meeting the agreed goal of a fully decarbonised building stock requires tackling the carbon footprint of building materials. Possible interactions and interdependencies, such as the introduction of mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards and a new ‘deep renovation’ definition, as well as the strengthening of renewable energy requirements in heating and cooling, should be thoroughly addressed.


The scope of the Renovation Wave’s proposed measures’ expected impacts or deadlines should also be clearly specified, and sequencing of actions should be closely reviewed to ensure maximum alignment between actions. While the Renovation Wave defines a start date for its proposed actions, it fails to mention when they should take effect, what their impact will be, or the extent to which these are expected to contribute to an increased annual rate of deep renovation.


Towards this end, BPIE urges the European Commission to use the upcoming legislative revisions within the Fit for 55 package as an opportunity to take immediate measures, which, among other recommendations, should include a comprehensive revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.


“It is not too late to confirm a 3% yearly deep renovation target and to introduce the right measures and instruments. The recovery funds made available to EU member states are a unique opportunity to boost the renovation market.” concludes Rapf.


BPIE’s full Renovation Wave analysis and policy recommendations can be found here.