Author: Cristina Gamboa
By starting local and scaling up, data can be the greatest ally of Europe’s upcoming renovation wave, writes Cristina Gamboa.
The COVID-19 wake-up call has shifted EU sustainability policy from ambition to action. We have seen decision-makers strive for recovery packages that can both deliver on climate goals and rescue turbulent economies. The EU had already set much of this in motion with its Green Deal and target-based climate law.
In the building and construction sector, the new Renovation Wave action plan can revolutionise how governments tackle carbon emissions from existing structures. The benefits of this will be clear and diverse, but to maximise the success of this initiative, it needs to be driven by a wealth of good quality data.
The Renovation Wave promises wide-sweeping, ambitious reforms to decarbonise the EU’s building stock, covering everything from improving insulation and transforming heating and cooling systems to equipping EU roofs with solar panels.
Deep building renovation brings immense benefits: beyond lowered emissions, it is a win-win for EU citizens who will pay lower energy bills and breathe cleaner indoor air. Importantly, at a time when countries worldwide are grappling with the greatest public health crisis of our time, building renovation can help create healthier cities, alleviate energy poverty, drive investment in construction and boost local employment.
Enacting extensive reform, however, means starting at the local level. This is why eight Green Building Councils (GBCs) are working with pioneering cities across Europe who are committed to renovating their building stock.
BUILD UPON2 is an EU-funded project led by GBCs, BPIE and Climate Alliance, built on the premise that successful renovation programmes should have a demonstrable impact on the key social, environmental, and economic issues Europe faces.
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