As one of the largest consumers of energy in the EU, building stock has a big impact on the EU’s climate goals. Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption in the EU and contribute 36% of total emissions. This is why the S&D Group in the European Parliament has issued a position paper today, outlining affordable housing, green buildings and safe jobs as key demands for the renovation market.
MEPs say that the Renovation Wave strategy must build on the European Green Deal and the European Pillar of Social Rights, contributing to ambitious climate and social goals, and building for a recovery that leaves no one behind.
Miapetra Kumpula-Natri MEP, co-ordinator of the S&D position paper on the Renovation Wave, said: “We must keep in mind that the green transition has no chance of succeeding if the most vulnerable citizens are not on board. This also applies to the Renovation Wave strategy. Today, over 50 million people are affected by energy poverty in the EU, forced to choose between heating and eating. The cost of renovations is often too high for the most vulnerable households and we must provide concrete policy tools to make renovations available for all. Also, special attention should be paid to affordability of the housing: renovations should not force low- and middle-income families living in rental houses to move from their homes as the rents go up because of renovations.”
“We believe that fast and efficient implementation of the Renovation Wave strategy can be a real win win win: emissions can be cut, local jobs created and living conditions improved for huge numbers of Europeans.”
Dan Nica MEP, S&D spokesperson on industry and research, said: “The Renovation Wave strategy aims at a series of actions in the coming years to unleash a wave of buildings renovations. Given that new and stronger follow-up measures are needed, the success of this initiative is only possible if the current legislation is well implemented across the EU, with member states ensuring a necessary solid basis for delivering new renovations. I believe the main challenge will be to bring together all those involved; therefore, we need to tackle obstacles at all stages of renovations and ensure a co-ordinated approach across the EU.”
“We have to aim for people to see the long-term result of renovations. This can be achieved through better communication of the benefits, but also through a clear, dedicated financial instrument within the Renovation Wave and the right incentives. The issue of energy poverty should also be addressed in relation to renovation, as any targets or policies should not increase the energy bills of the most vulnerable. Therefore, strong support is needed for relieving financial burdens and enabling the stability of direct financial incentives dedicated to building renovations in order to ensure affordability for all. I fully support the S&D position on Renovation Wave and now we need to ensure that the Commission proposal will also take into account our requests.”