The Renovation Wave Strategy and Action Plan: Designed for success or doomed to fail? A review and gap analysis of the Renovation Wave

This policy briefing provides a deep-dive analysis into the European Commission's Renovation Wave and Action Plan, presented in October 2020, highlighting an immediate opportunity to align the strategy and action plan with the EU's climate objectives.

Is the Renovation Wave action plan leading to adequate measures, putting the EU on track to achieve its 2030 climate objectives?

This policy briefing analyses whether the Renovation Wave action plan is coherent and target-oriented, putting the EU on a path to deliver the 2030 Climate Targets, or if, on the contrary, it could potentially lead to inconsistencies and sub-optimal results when translated into regulatory measures. This would result in missed targets, opportunities and benefits. While the preparatory work for the first actions of 2021 is already underway, it is not too late for the European Commission to take corrective actions in the implementation phase of the strategy. The analysis is broken down into three sub-questions, each addressing different aspects of the issue:

  • Is the Renovation Wave strategy aligned with the 2030 climate ambition?
  • Is the Renovation Wave strategy designed as a coherent framework of actions or is it a basketful of uncoordinated actions?
  • Is the Renovation Wave strategy setting out the right sequencing of actions?

The analysis highlights an immediate need to correct the Renovation Wave’s design during the implementation phase, to align measures with the EU climate-neutrality ambition, and carefully review the coherence between proposed measures and their sequencing.

While the urgency to act is undeniable, it is not too late to correct mismatches and unclarities, and to introduce the right measures at the right time using the right legal ‘vehicle’, whether regulatory or non-regulatory measures. The discussions on defining policy options,
notably within the revisions of the EED and EPBD, are an opportunity to shed new light on how to implement the Renovation Wave and improve its design – its overall ambition, its scope, its coherence and its sequencing of actions.

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