Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, joined calls for a tougher energy efficiency target for Europe’s building stock at the final Build for CaRe conference in Brussels today .
The meeting follows an historic vote in the European Parliament last week, which saw MEPs from across the political spectrum agree to stronger, legally binding targets and measures to ensure that the EU realises its target of reducing energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020.
The outcome of the vote will mean that, if approved by the European Council, Member States will be required to set out, and meet, national roadmaps for achieving energy savings of 80 per cent in the building sector by 2050, with a ‘deep’ renovation rate of 2.5 per cent a year for public buildings .
Housing and buildings across Europe account for 40 per cent of energy consumption, making energy-efficient buildings a key factor in achieving the ambitious EU climate and energy goals. It is estimated that ten homes a minute must be refurbished to a high – or ‘deep’ – standard of energy efficiency from now until 2050 if these targets are to be met; a ten fold increase on the current rate.
Build with CaRe believes that dramatically enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings to the Passivehaus standard is the crucial step towards reducing energy demand ; a move which could tackle global warming, create thousands of jobs across Europe and boost health and wellbeing by delivering energy efficient, warm homes.
Jean, an ambassador for Build with CaRe, said: “With EU building stock producing over one third of CO2 emissions, the future of sustainable housing cannot simply depend upon the commitment of an enlightened few. While pioneering organisations such as Build with CaRe can go far in spearheading efforts to transform Europe’s homes, the fact is that tough, legally binding targets alongside an EU-wide framework of policy, incentive and funding are key if we are to make energy efficiency in building design the norm.
“Gradual change will not deliver the transformation essential to deliver a low carbon, sustainable Europe. A new legal requirement on Member States to deliver an 80 per cent energy saving from national housing stock by 2050 will go a long way to realising our climate goals, as well as resulting in significant energy savings and lower energy bills for EU citizens. Now is not the time for Europe to stand idly by – now is the time for radical action and a new vision.”
Notes to Editor
1. Build with CaRe, launched in 2008, aims to facilitate, stimulate and strengthen the market in order to go from a few ‘good examples’ to energy efficient design as mainstream. It is made up of 18 public and private organisations from across five countries – Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. For more information, visit: http://www.buildwithcare.eu/
2. The European Parliament Energy Committee has now decided to proceed with negotiations on the Energy Efficiency Directive with the European Council. The plenary vote will take place only after the end of these negotiations.
3. The Passivhaus Standard, developed in Germany in the early 1990s, is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world with 30,000 buildings realised to date. Passivhaus focuses on high thermal performance with exceptional levels of airtightness. For more information, visit:http://www.passivhaus.org.uk