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S&Ds back affordable, green, efficient buildings in the EU

Date

18 Sep 2020

Sections

InfoSociety

Ahead of the European Commission’s Renovation Wave initiative, members of the European Parliament voted, during this week’s plenary session, on a report that will ensure the cost of renovating buildings all over the EU should not lead to unbearable costs for the owners and tenants. As the need for energy-efficient buildings increases, the S&Ds have made sure that proposals aiming to lift millions of citizens out of energy poverty were introduced in the final text. Energy-efficient buildings are an essential part of the fight against climate change, where the S&Ds have always taken the lead.

Miapetra Kumpula-Natri MEP, S&D negotiator on building efficiency, said:

“In the European Union, buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. Renovations can be a crucial part of the EU’s green recovery. Boosting renovations is a real win-win-win: we can cut emissions, create jobs and improve quality of living. There is great potential for increasing sustainability of the whole building sector in the EU. Wood and other sustainable materials, and the circular economy must be at the core of the industry throughout the whole value chain, from construction products to buildings and waste.

“The S&Ds aim is to ensure that the European Commission’s Renovation Wave proposal tackles the energy poverty issue and promotes cost-efficient renovations that ensure affordable and good living.”

Dan Nica MEP, S&D spokesman on research and energy, said:

“Though this initiative report voted this week in plenary, we have strongly stressed the importance of the affordability principle. Therefore, new renovations working towards energy-efficient buildings should not lead to unbearable cost burdens for tenants and must be reasonably priced. In addition to the climate neutrality target, the renovations should always lead to healthy buildings taking into account indoor air quality, mould-free houses, overall energy-efficiency performance and the comfort of occupants.

“The construction sector is immensely important to the EU economy and according to the Commission’s assessment, it accounts for about 9% of the EU's GDP. Renovating the existing building stock of the EU, consisting of up to 210 million buildings, could create no less than 2 million jobs in the construction sector. The main challenge is to renovate existing buildings, which can help lift millions of people from energy poverty due to its effect on energy bills, and at the same time create millions of jobs. It is also highly important to ensure the right financing instruments and incentives are in place for people to do the renovations. The ultimate goal is to provide comfortable, affordable and energy-efficient housing for all.”

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