Renovation Wave Strategy, Source: European Commission

Renovation Wave to help cities and regions achieve climate neutrality

Renovation Wave to help cities and regions achieve climate neutrality

CoR will want to implement faster funding mechanism for building renovation projects

Last week, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) expressed its opinion regarding the Renovation Wave Strategy, which aims to improve the energy performance of buildings in EU Member States. Renovation Wave's key elements are energy savings and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The CoR calls on the European Commission and the Member States to establish easier and faster funding mechanisms for local and regional governments to implement renovation projects. The CoR and EU Commission have formed a partnership to help local and regional governments renew their building facilities. The COVID-19 health crisis has brought awareness to the need to improve living conditions and eradicate energy poverty in buildings.

Climate neutrality by 2050

Building renovation is critical if the EU is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. For cities and regions, aid programmes must be revised and budget regulations made more flexible to maximise investments in renovations and for renewable energy sources to be integrated into renovation projects.

The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, said: "Making our buildings energy efficient will save money, reduce emissions and tackle energy poverty which affects 34 million people in Europe. We need to ensure that local and regional governments are aware of, and have access to, the unprecedented EU budget and recovery and resilience funds available".

"The green recovery begins in our homes. With the Renovation Wave as a fundamental pillar of the Green Deal, we can relaunch our economy, create 160 000 jobs in the building sector, and fight energy poverty, while at the same time meeting our climate neutrality goals”, said Enrico Rossi, CoR rapporteur on the opinion on the Renovation Wave.

“For its success, cities and regions must play a key role. This is why we need concrete tools, such as a local technical assistance facility, accessible to all local and regional authorities for the implementation of the Renovation Wave, along with training for workers, in particular in SMEs, to help create more jobs," concluded Mr Rossi.

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