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Ensuring a just approach in the energy renovation of homes

The pressing need for action to mitigate climate change includes a significant contribution from housing to carbon emission reduction targets. Buildings represent 36% of Europe’s CO2 emissions. Getting to zero emissions in 2050 across the whole economy without decarbonising the housing stock is simply impossible.

The policies that might be applied in order to achieve an acceleration in renovation rate include tax or other financial incentives, major national or regional renovation programmes, information and awareness-raising, regulations for increased energy efficiency when other works are done on a home, or mandatory minimum requirements for the energy performance of the home. This latter approach is commonly referred to as ‘minimum energy efficiency standards’ (MEES), and seems increasingly likely to form part of effective policy going forward.

The European Climate Foundation initiated, thus, a project aiming at considering the key social and welfare issues arising with regard to the application of minimum energy efficiency or carbon emission standards for existing buildings, and to develop a set of key principles to maximise the benefits of renovation are, and to avoid potential pitfalls. The focus of the project activity was on gathering the views of stakeholders concerned with housing and social welfare. Interviews were carried to social welfare organisations, housing providers, policy and finance specialists, and a round table discussion was held with representatives of organisations with an EU-wide focus in Brussels in March 2019.

COFACE Families Europe, is one of the members of the right to energy coalition, advocating for a recognition of access to energy is a basic human right and a public good that must be protected through effective policy; for democratising the energy system, through public and community ownership and control of energy; and for reducing overall energy demand by improving the energy efficiency of homes and was contributed to the project, stressing that policies have to protect the right to housing and to energy of families, and in particular of the most vulnerable ones, that are often under economical pressure, also due to the increasing costs of housing.

Here you can find the discussion paper.

For more information please contact Irene Bertana: i.bertana@coface-eu.org

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