EU Targets Emission Savings From Buildings

The European Union (EU) aims to make buildings more energy efficient to save energy and cut emissions, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

Public buildings and private homes are currently responsible for 40 percent of the EU’s energy consumption, she said, noting that the process of renovation and retrofitting has already started.

“But at the current pace, it would take more than a century to bring emissions from our buildings to zero,” von der Leyen said in a speech today.

Regions and cities will be at the core of the US$2.12 trillion (1.8 trillion euro) plan for a green, digital, and resilient recovery, the European Commission president said.

Europe must speed up its efforts to reduce emissions from buildings as it looks to build a greener future as it recovers from the crisis, von der Leyen said.

The EU has earmarked billions of U.S. dollars for investments in policies to fight climate change in the largest green stimulus package ever.

The EU has plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 and last month, the European Commission proposed a 2030 Climate Plan with interim climate targets of reducing EU-wide net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The existing target calls for reducing emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030.

“This target puts the EU on a balanced pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050,” the Commission said in the middle of September, adding that an impact assessment has confirmed that reducing emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 is “a realistic and feasible course of action.”

Von der Leyen said last month that 37 percent of the US$884 billion (750 billion euro) NextGenerationEU funding will be invested in European Green Deal objectives, including hydrogen, green building, and 1 million electric charging points.

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