Major CEOs call on EU Commission to improve building efficiency

A group of 42 CEOs from some of Europe’s major construction and building materials companies have called on the Commission to do more to improve the energy efficiency of Europe’s building stock.

The group have signed a letter to the European Commission urging it to show “vision” in its revision of the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), which is due to take place this autumn, with leading voices  from Europe’s building industry, including AkzoNobel, Philips Lighting and Siemens, claiming that this would benefit the economy and the climate.

Addressed to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President Frans Timmermans, the letter warns that the EU’s target of a “Nearly Zero Energy” building stock by 2050 could not be achieved without “high level political commitment. The signatories argue that this would give the renovation industry the certainty it needs to boost investment in the sector and put the EU on track to meet its climate targets.

The coalition of business leaders see the upcoming review of the EPBD and the EED as a unique opportunity for the European Union to act “big on big issues”, such as jobs and growth, while putting economies on the right track to meet the Paris Agreement.

The Commission claims that 90 per cent of the EU’s building stock that is more than 50 years old will still be standing in 2050, while the average new building is at least five times more energy efficient than an old construction. The EU’s ageing building stock accounts for 40 per cent of its energy consumption and 36 per cent of its carbon dioxide emissions.

The EU executive estimates that widespread energy efficiency renovation could reduce the bloc’s overall energy consumption by up to 6 per cent and cut its CO2 emissions by 5 per cent.

In its contribution to the Paris Agreement, the European Union committed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and to become carbon neutral by 2050. Industry leaders claim that improving the energy efficiency of Europe’s buildings is essential if the EU is to achieve this target.

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