Long-Term Renovation Strategies: How the building sector can contribute to climate neutrality in the EU

The following policy brief presents insights into how the buildings sector could contribute to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, thanks to the help of the newly developed European Calculator (EUCalc) model. The model shows that achieving EU climate neutrality will require a transformative approach both in the building sector and regarding how electricity and heat are produced.

The EUCalc model user interface – the Transition Pathways Explorer – is a tool that allows users to build a pathway to a net-zero carbon future at European and Member State level. Its scientific mission is to provide a sophisticated, yet accessible, model to fill the gap between integrated climate-energy-economy models and the practical needs of decision-makers. The model relates emission reduction with human lifestyles, the exploitation and/or conservation of natural resources, job creation, energy production, agriculture, costs, etc. in one highly integrative approach and tool which enables decision-makers to get real-time policy support underpinned by comprehensive trade-off analyses. Politicians, innovators and investors can use the EUCalc Transition Pathways Explorer to create their own pathways to a low-carbon future online, in real-time and together. This tool can help policy makers in the EU28 + Switzerland explore the routes they can take to delivering climate protection, whilst securing energy and other important policy priorities.

The EUCalc model shows that achieving a decarbonised building stock, in line with Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) Long-term renovation strategies (LTRS) and the EU climate neutrality objective will require a transformative approach both in the building sector and regarding how electricity and heat are produced. Large additional effort and major technological advances and breakthroughs in comparison to the building sector’s current construction and renovation practice are necessary if the Member States are serious in taking actions that will achieve a highly energy-efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050.

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