18 Jun 2020, 14:23
Benjamin Wehrmann

'Renovation wave' must be priority in German EU Presidency - industry and NGOs

Clean Energy Wire

An alliance of renewable energy industry and environmental action groups has called on the German government to make the planned "European renovation wave" for building modernisation a priority during its upcoming EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2020. "The special significance of the buildings sector for reaching the European climate action targets is clear," said the group, which consists of the renewable energy federation BEE, environmental NGO Nabu, efficiency initiative Deneff and others. The renovation wave has already featured prominently in EU communication on its Green Deal as well as in the European Commission's working schedule, and the German presidency should not downgrade the topic's importance, the alliance added.

About 40 percent of Europe's final energy consumption and 36 percent of its carbon emissions are associated with the buildings sector, meaning that "a greenhouse gas-neutral continent cannot come into existence without a modernised building stock," according to the alliance. The forthcoming recovery measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic unlock billions of euros for investments and the buildings sector represents a "very fruitful field of application" to ensure that stimulus funds simultaneously boost economic productivity and climate action. "Buildings modernisation combines a high degree of local value creation with great export opportunities for the German economy," as investments in low-carbon heating systems, insulation, and other measures would be needed across Europe, the group said.

Germany's government adopted its new long-term renovation strategy in line with EU regulation the day before the alliance's intervention, vowing to cut primary energy consumption in the sector by more than one third over the next decade. Environmental group DUH has criticised that planned legislation to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the sector fall short of achieving the reduction targets.

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