The European Renovation Wave: From Words to Action

The Renovation Wave published by the European Commission on October 14, 2020 recognises that the status quo is not sustainable and introduces a range of actions to “make renovation a win-win for climate neutrality and economic recovery”. But while a vision to decarbonise the building sector is taking shape, success will depend on how well it is turned into action in the coming years. This assessment sets out BPIE’s views on the key elements of the strategy, and how they can be put into action.

The building sector, as it stands today, is a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the European Union. It remains highly dependent on fossil fuels, has yet to embrace circularity, and is not seeing the renovation activity necessary to meet climate goals and improve people’s wellbeing. The Renovation Wave strategy published by the Commission on October 14, 2020 calls for faster and deeper renovation and is comprehensive and far-reaching. Its premise is that to contribute to a higher 2030 climate target and decarbonise the building sector, a wide range of policies, measures and tools must be put in place at all levels to overcome existing barriers and mobilise all actors, including citizens, local authorities, investors and the construction value chain.

This assessment sets out BPIE’s views on the key elements of the strategy and provides suggestions how they can be put into action. For example, BPIE argues that a much stronger focus on deep renovations is needed to achieve full decarbonisation of buildings by 2050 and this should be reflected in the upcoming legislative processes and respective supporting instruments.

The Renovation Wave will catalyse a series of actions in the coming years to unleash a wave of building renovations. New and stronger follow-up measures are welcome and needed. At the same time, such an initiative can only be successful if the current legislation is well implemented across EU Member States providing the necessary solid basis for delivering the Renovation Wave.

Like our work? Feel free to share

Keep in touch with
our work

BPIE supports evidence-based policy making by providing data and knowledge through its reports, as well as partnering in several European projects.

Subscribe to our newsletter