The Green Deal and EU reconstruction after the COVID-19 crisis
To achieve the CO2 reduction targets that are to be set in the new climate law, means looking seriously at the energy efficiency of buildings, and most especially social housing. A big part of the EU housing stock dates from the last centuries and was built in ways that waste energy.
Of all the CO2 abatement plans, the biggest return is to reduce the 30% of total energy consumption used for heating.
That makes sense, but who pays? The owners of social housing have less concern because the heating bill is paid by the tenant. So we are catch 22 – the tenant will not refurbish what he does not own, the owner will not invest to make savings he does not get.
How to beat the deadlock? One way ahead is to look at the revision of the construction products regulation (CPR) that sets the product standards.
After the crisis a major reconstruction programme makes political and economic sense. Many SMEs are active in the construction sector and could be got back to work.
But who has the money? Part of the plan must be to empower the cities to be able to use the funds and even raise funds. They are the closest to social needs. Better insulated buildings have a wide social benefit, since energy poverty can be alleviated by lower heating bills.
Who owns this at the EU level? Housing renewal is writ large in the Green Deal, but the CPR is the job of DG Grow. Energy efficiency is owned by yet another DG, as is employment. What we need is overall ownership for an integrated EU plan of action. Time for a champion in the Commission to step forward to lead a concerted reconstruction plan after the crisis.
If you would like to find out more, please contact us at COVIDteam@fipra.com