The World Green Building Council has called on European countries to “create ambitious plans” on how to cut emissions from existing buildings.
A week after more than 170 countries signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the World Green Building Council is calling on governments, businesses, consumer groups, and NGOs across Europe to “create ambitious plans for how their countries will cut emissions from existing buildings.”
As of April 30, European countries have just one year to submit “national renovation strategies” — “detailed plans on how they will renovate their nation’s homes and commercial buildings to high standards of energy efficiency.” This is a vital step in Europe’s hopes to meet its climate goals, with existing buildings throughout the European Union accounting for 36% of total carbon emissions. However, the World Green Building Council notes that “experts widely agree” that more needs to be done, despite the existing breadth and depth of strategies to tackle this problem in the European Union.
“Emissions from existing buildings are one of the biggest climate challenges facing Europe and curbing them will be absolutely critical if we are to meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement. Europe is doing a huge amount on energy efficient renovation, but it’s not adding up to the results we need because of a lack of coordination,” said James Drinkwater, Director of the WorldGBC’s Europe Regional Network.
In March, 13 Green Building Councils across Europe launched BUILD UPON — the world’s largest collaborative project on building renovation.
“BUILD UPON’s name communicates the philosophy of the project: as a community we are already doing so much to help renovate our nations’ buildings – now it is critical to build upon this strong foundation by aligning our resources and initiatives – to create greater collective impact.”
“Countries now have just one year to put in place renovation strategies strong enough to meet this challenge, and this will require unprecedented collaboration from governments, industry, and a range of other organizations,” added Drinkwater. “This is where the BUILD UPON project can help – bringing actors together to establish strong, coherent national strategies to transform Europe’s ageing and inefficient building stock. We urge these countries to work with us and our partners to develop ambitious, coordinated strategies.”
BUILD UPON has convened a major policy dialogue process with more than 1,000 organizations, and in September, a coalition of over 200 building renovation leaders from across Europe will meet in Madrid, Spain, to agree to a long-term vision for “building renovation and the practical measures needed to achieve it.”
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