The European Green Deal

The European Green Deal was published on 11 December as the first major initiative of the new European Commission. It aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans will be in charge of leading and coordinating the work. In a Communication on the European Clean Deal the European Commission sets out a broad roadmap with outlines of practical steps to be taken, to be updated as needs evolve. It represents a new growth strategy for the EU aimed at creating a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy.

Buildings account for 40% of energy consumed while the annual renovation rate of the building stock varies from 0.4 to 1.2% in the Member States. This rate will need at least to double to reach the EU’s energy efficiency and climate objectives. It is proposed that the EU and the Member States engage in a “renovation wave” of public and private buildings, and that the Commission rigorously enforce the legislation related to the energy performance of buildings starting with an assessment in 2020 of Member States’ national long-term renovation strategies.

The Commission will commence work on the possibility of including emissions from buildings in European emissions trading, as part of broader efforts to ensure that the relative prices of different energy sources provide the right signals for energy efficiency. The Commission also proposes to work with stakeholders on a new initiative on renovation in 2020 to include an open platform bringing together the buildings and construction sector, architects and engineers and local authorities to address the barriers to renovation. In addition the Commission will work to lift national regulatory barriers that inhibit energy efficiency investments in rented and multi-ownership buildings.