EU Buildings Climate Tracker: methodology and introduction of building decarbonisation indicators and their results 

The EU Buildings Climate Tracker finds that the European Union is facing a growing gap in advancing towards climate neutrality in the sector. This paper is complementary as it gives more details about the methodology and outlines results for all sub-indicators of the Tracker.

The EU Buildings Climate Tracker is an index composed set of indicators. It is a response to the challenges around the collection and use of data to monitor and assess progress on the decarbonisation of the building stock in the EU since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, and towards the objective of climate neutrality by 2050. The Tracker serves as a relevant benchmark and assessment tool for the status of the building stock in the EU and its progress towards climate neutrality by 2050. Therefore, it provides evidence about the need for further action, that should be reflected in an ambitious outcome of legislative discussions on the EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive). 

A first policy briefing highlighting its overall results as well as concrete policy recommendations for the EPBD revision was published in June 2022. The results show that the buildings sector is not on track to achieve climate neutrality in 2050. In 2019, the index has a calculated value of 0.48 on a scale between 0 (reference situation in 2015) and 100 (climate neutrality in 2050), while it should be at 14 points. The Tracker also indicates that building decarbonisation is far from progressing at the speed needed. The progress achieved between 2015 and 2019 was a 0.12 point annual improvement, while it should have been at 3.6 points.  

This complimentary paper gives more details about the methodology and outlines results for all sub-indicators of the EU Buildings Climate Tracker: 

1. CO₂ emissions from energy use in buildings by households and services 

2. Final energy consumption in households and the service 

3. Improvement in EPC ratings 

4. Renewable energy share 

a. Share of energy from renewable sources for heating and cooling 

b. Share of energy from renewable sources in gross electricity consumption 

5. Cumulated investment in renovation in real terms 

6. Annual domestic expenditure per household in real terms 

The EU Buildings Climate Tracker aggregates the six above-mentioned indicators and assumes the target of a highly energy efficient and fully decarbonised building stock by 2050. After some initial backtracking, the building stock in the EU has since 2017 been moving in the right direction towards climate neutrality, albeit not at all at the speed required. Considering the strong catch-up needed in terms of decarbonisation of the building stock, there is no time to lose and no possibility to take it slow or be shy in the actions taken. This is the only way to keep the promises of the Paris Agreement alive. 

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