Building emissions must be reduced to meet Paris Agreement

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Building emissions must be reduced to meet Paris Agreement
This is an example of a building's energy saving potential

When it comes to improving building emissions and meeting the terms of the Paris Agreement, Europe must lead by example, say a coalition of businesses

Businesses are calling for more to be done to reduce the emissions caused by buildings.

The coalition, made up of cities, authorities, manufacturers, utility companies and scholars, is calling for a European-wide approach in tackling greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the targets set out in the Paris Agreement. It wants to see clear targets and action to develop the energy performance of existing housing stock, to bring it more in line with new building emissions standards.

This statement has been released ahead of the EU deadline to publish updated strategies to reduce building energy consumption at the same time as new EU energy laws are being formulated. Buildings account for around 36 percent of Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions and, as a result, are a significant area where reductions can be made.

Supported by previous calls

The statement is supported by the results of the BUILD UPON report, which saw 13 Green Building Councils in Europe give expert advice to national governments to formulate new strategies to improve the energy performance of building stock. This has given a clear direction on the action that policymakers need to take in order to fulfil the agreement.

The call to action is supported by previous reports from the Committee on Climate Change, which warned the government is failing in its commitment to cut emissions and to develop new heating policies.

A coalition of organisations from the building sector has recently called on the European Commission to improve the energy efficiency of building stock. The coalition sent a letter to the European Commission stating: “It is clear that the Paris commitment cannot be honoured without drastically reducing energy consumption in our buildings.”

James Drinkwater, European Regional Director of the World Green Building Council, said: “Europe is at a crossroads in terms of its energy policy, with decision-makers unwilling to commit to a clear vision for one of Europe’s most pressing climate challenges – its buildings. But this intervention is proof that a large number of businesses and organisations are committed to ambitious plans on building renovation.

“Our Green Building Councils in Europe have been leading this charge by helping their national governments to develop strong action plans to transform buildings across Europe.”

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