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The Low-Carbon economy: concrete and robust measures to renovate Europe’s buildings or another chimera?


09 Mar 2011


Trade & Society

Brussels, 8 March 2011: Glass for Europe welcomes the European Commission recognition that renovating Europe’s buildings is essential to build a low-carbon economy by 2050. In order to achieve the ambitions set out in the ‘Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy by 2050’, Europe’s need to triple the deep renovation rate of its buildings and bring gradually its building stock to ‘nearly zero-energy levels’.

Robust and concrete measures to step up the renovation rate of Europe’s buildings are however missing.  ‘It is striking to see that the ambitious objectives set for the building sector for 2050 are not match by more concrete proposals in the Energy Efficiency Plan to step up building renovation’ said Bertrand Cazes, Secretary General of Glass for Europe. ‘The Commission will have to propose concrete measures by way of the upcoming energy savings directive and to set aside sufficient funds in the post 2013 multiannual budget plan otherwise the renovation of Europe’s buildings runs the risk of staying only a sheer chimera, he added.

Glass for Europe welcomes the European Commission acknowledgment that there is a vast potential for window retrofitting given that more than 40% of windows in the EU are still single-glazing, and another 40% are early uncoated double-glazing. Upgrading outdated windows to state-of-the art products could help Europe save over 100 million tones of CO2 annually, according to the independent research institute TNO. Glass for Europe therefore calls on the European Commission to develop a window energy labelling scheme without further delay to help unlock this CO2 savings potential.



About Glass for Europe

Glass for Europe is the trade association for Europe’s manufacturers of building, automotive, and transport glass, all derived from the basic material known as flat glass. Flat glass is the material that goes into end-products that we see (and see through) every day. It is used to make windscreens and windows for automobile and transports, and windows and façades for houses and buildings. It is also used for many other applications like solar energy equipment, interior fittings and decoration, furniture, “street furniture” like bus stops for example, appliances and electronics, and others.

Glass for Europe has four members – AGC Glass Europe, NSG-Pilkington, Saint-Gobain Glass and Sisecam-Trakya Cam – and works in association with the company Guardian. Altogether, these five companies represent more than 90% of Europe’s flat glass production.

Glass for Europe firmly believes that state-of-the-art glass can play a vital role in achieving the EU’s energy saving targets and promotes ambitious policy mechanisms to support the market uptake of energy-efficient glass technologies.


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