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Council approves conclusions on an EU renovation wave

The Council recently (11 June 2021) approved conclusions on a renovation wave that repairs the economy now, and creates green buildings for the future. The renovation wave strategy aims to intensify renovation efforts throughout the EU, in order to make the necessary contribution by the buildings sector to the 2050 climate neutrality goal and to deliver a fair and just green transition.

Member states endorse the strategy’s aim to double energy-related renovation rates in the EU by 2030, while tackling energy poverty, creating new jobs and promoting resource efficiency and circular economy. The conclusions also emphasise the importance of social inclusion and accessibility.

The strategy promotes in particular renovations that reduce energy use, curb greenhouse gas emissions, increase the environmental performance of buildings and generate cost savings. Member states underline that the starting point for renovations should be the cost-efficient reduction of energy demand and the replacement of carbon intensive or energy-inefficient heating and cooling technologies. This should go hand in hand with the integration of energy efficient solutions and the use of renewable energy and waste heat or cold.

The Council underlines the importance of eco-design, environmental and energy labelling measures in promoting green heating and cooling solutions and facilitating the phase-out of fossil-fuel-operated equipment in the most cost-efficient way.

The Council emphasises the pivotal role of buildings renovation in the process of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council recalls the crucial opportunity offered by the Recovery and Resilience Facility to mobilise investments and prioritise building renovations. The EU has set a target of at least 30% for climate action in the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, and of at least 37% under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The Council highlights that work must continue in order to extend and combine the available financing options for building renovations, such as green subsidies, tax and green loan incentives, green bonds, energy saving obligation schemes.

Background and next steps

The buildings sector is one of the largest energy consumers in Europe and is responsible for more than one third of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions. With millions of Europeans unable to afford keeping their home adequately heated, renovation is also an important response to energy poverty and quality of life of citizens.

The European Commission presented the renovation wave strategy on 14 October 2020 as part of the European Green Deal.

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Original article link: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/06/11/council-approves-conclusions-on-an-eu-renovation-wave/

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