US – EU Exchange: Advancing the transatlantic economic recovery with building renovation and clean energy solutions

Hosted by BPIE, the US-EU exchange aims to advance the transatlantic economic recovery through the strengthening of transatlantic collaboration and exchange on climate mitigation policy and green recovery policies, in the context of renewing and strengthening the relationship between the US and the EU.

The COVID-19 crisis has driven many economies around the globe into recession, leading policymakers to draw up unprecedented spending plans to cushion the impact and enable recoveries. The European Union launched Next Generation EU[1] to build a more sustainable, resilient and fairer Europe. Europe´s growth strategy, the European Green Deal, will be at the heart of the recovery efforts. In October 2020, the European Commission has published its Renovation Wave Strategy to improve the energy performance of buildings. The Commission aims to at least double renovation rates in the next ten years and make sure renovations lead to higher energy and resource efficiency. This will enhance the quality of life for people living in and using the buildings, reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, foster digitalisation and improve the reuse and recycling of materials. By 2030, 35 million buildings could be renovated and up to 160,000 additional green jobs created in the construction sector.

Within the broader topic of green recovery, this EU-US cooperation action will focus on reducing the energy consumption of the building stock – an area crucial importance in general (as pointed out, for instance, by the International Energy Agency´s World Energy Outlook 2020 “ Special Report on Sustainable Recovery”) and for the US in particular. US building emissions including heating, cooking and electricity use – make up over a third of total CO2 emissions. Per capita, building-related emissions are by far the highest in the G20. The EU and the US have both committed to a net-zero climate goal by 2050. Reducing the carbon footprint of buildings is an essential element to achieve this target.

Building renovation is already a priority concern of sub-federal Government entities. All members of the US Climate Alliance, a bipartisan Governors´ effort to uphold US ambition on climate action, have climate policies in place (see for instance this summary of state-level policies) – sustainable buildings feature in many of them. The America´s pledge, a broad initiative of states, cities and business, includes retrofitting and electrifying buildings among its 10 top opportunity priorities. The recently announced Infrastructure bill includes an amount of 213 billion USD for retrofitting homes and commercial properties, and an additional 100 billion USD for upgrading public schools. 

Hosted by BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe), the US-EU exchange aims to advance the transatlantic economic recovery through the strengthening of transatlantic collaboration and exchange on climate mitigation policy and green recovery policies, in the context of renewing and strengthening the relationship between the US and the EU. Key activities will include: 

I. Webinar series of renovation stimulus and green technologyJuly – December 2021


II. High-level concluding eventQ1 2022

The project will end with a two-day conference in the US in early 2022, with a political segment and technical parts, reflecting on the latest policy developments and highlighting opportunities to collaborate between European and US experts, businesses, civil society and policy makers.

Disclaimer: This event has been organised with the financial support of the European Union’s Partnership Instrument. The opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
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