21 May 2021, 12:20
Edgar Meza

German building alliance presents plan to achieve climate targets

Clean Energy Wire

The Building Alliance (Gebäude-Allianz), an initiative coordinated by German environment association NABU comprising more than 25 associations, has presented a five-point plan detailing how climate protection targets for the building sector can best be achieved. The Alliance aims to make the building sector a part of an integrated climate protection and energy policy. The sector failed to achieve the greenhouse gas emission limits for 2020 set in Germany’s Climate Protection Act. The Federal Ministry of Building, Interior and Community must now present immediate measures in order to meet the emission targets for the coming years. The target gap could grow drastically by 2030 if countermeasures to reduce some 45 percent of current greenhouse gas emissions are not taken quickly. The plan calls for a better interaction between support and demand: Supported by needs-based support programs, minimum energy standards for existing buildings should clearly detail the path to climate neutrality and initiate additional modernizations, especially for buildings with the highest energy requirements. When it comes to distributing the burden of CO2 pricing between tenants and owners, it is imperative to stop shifting the entire costs solely to the tenants, as tenants have no influence on the energetic state of their apartment or the type of heating, the alliance stresses. It also calls for the increased use of modern renewable heat supply technologies in order to avoid fossil fuel lock-in effects. The public sector should start constructing new buildings in a climate-neutral manner as early as 2023, as well as implementing higher modernisation rates and commissioning life cycle analyses, the plan states.

The building sector is responsible for around a third of greenhouse gas emissions but is lagging when it comes to meeting climate targets, said Simone Peter, president of the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE). Renewable energies must therefore be promoted in the sector. “There are no longer any technical restrictions that speak against their use. In addition, CO2 pricing must be socially fair in order not to endanger the acceptance of the important steering instrument on the way to a climate-neutral portfolio."

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