The road to climate-neutrality: Are national long-term renovation strategies fit for 2050?

This analysis reveals that Member States’ LTRS are largely not compliant with the EPBD objectives towards achieving a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by mid-century. Beyond this, the objectives of the LTRS are now misaligned with the EU's strengthened 2030 Climate Target and 2050 climate-neutrality objective. To overcome this, a full revision of the EPBD this year is strongly advised.

This report answers the question of whether EU Member States’ long-term renovation strategies (LTRS) are in line with the EPBD requirements on decarbonisation, and on a path towards total decarbonisation of the building stock by 2050. The analysis, representing over 50% of the EU
population (covering seven EU Member States and one region, Flanders, Belgium), points to a clear misalignment between LTRS and EU 2050 Climate Objectives.

Half of the analysed strategies (Finland, France, the Netherlands and Spain) include an objective at or above 90% GHG emissions reduction, which is in line with the legal requirement of the EPBD article 2a, that requires Member States to set a long-term 2050 goal of reducing GHG emissions in the EU by 80-95% compared to 1990. However, none of the eight strategies targets 100% decarbonisation of the building stock. This means that the substantial increase in renovation activity that is required – a deep renovation rate of 3% annually by 2030, is unlikely to be achieved.

The analysis ultimately reveals that even full compliance with EPBD article 2a, as it currently stands, is not enough to achieve 2050 climate-neutrality. Member States should now be seeking to achieve 100% decarbonisation of their building stock and developing long-term renovation strategies to deliver the climate-neutrality objective.

The revision process of the EPBD, within the context of the Fit for 55 package in 2021, offers the opportunity to ensure a much stronger place for buildings in Member States’ decarbonisation plans, who should implement the efficiency first principle. The status quo of Member States’ LTRS indicates that the revised EPBD should aim at triggering building renovation at the scale required to reach the EU’s climate targets, something which is not reflected in the LTRS language as defined in the EPBD recast in 2018. A full revision of the EPBD, as opposed to a light recast, is therefore strongly suggested in order to ensure that Europe achieve its strengthened 2030 climate target and its aim of climate-neutrality by 2050.

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