Buildings account for 11% of Canada’s emissions and 36% of the EU’s CO2 emissions and have been identified as a priority in both regions. Existing buildings in Canada will account for about 75% of Canada’s building stock in 2030 and over 75% of the EU building stock standing today will still be in use in 2050. This means that retrofitting existing buildings to make them more efficient and resilient to climate change must be a major focus of any transition towards a low-carbon building sector.

The final report of the Advisory Council on Climate Action, supporting the Canadian government’s commitments under the Paris Agreement in the transport and building sectors, has identified several opportunities to reduce carbon pollution in buildings, most of which are fully aligned with EU experience (e.g. promote tools to support standardised building labelling – i.e. Energy Performance Certificates; increase quality of deep building retrofits; standardise tools and approaches to measure estimated and actual performance of renovations; enhance the role of public authorities in leading by example; boost performance-based incentives for renovation activities; invest in capacity building and train the work-force for the transition to an efficient and decarbonised building sector, etc.).

From early 2020, and within the Strategic Partnership for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement, BPIE has committed to supporting the Canadian government in building capacity between European and Canadian decision-makers responsible for implementing building policies at all levels of governance and among academia, industry and civil society, through conferences, workshops, training sessions, webinars and advisory services. Building on existing research and knowledge in the EU and Canada on selected topics, the partnership will enhance knowledge exchange to encourage the implementation of effective energy efficiency policies in buildings and housing.

[1] Canada’s Advisory Council on Climate Action – Final report; Clean Energy Package for All Europeans