In 2018, the EU committed to becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and its EU Green Deal pledges to transform the EU into a “fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use”. Buildings are at the centre of this transformation, as they account for 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. A “Renovation Wave for Europe – greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives” was published in October 2020 and will play a key role in the transition towards a more sustainable and resilient EU.   

In 2018, 21% of the share of total energy-related CO2 emissions in Russia originated from the building sector (direct energy-related CO2 emissions and from electricity). Building emissions per capita arealmost twice as high as the G20 average; and in contrast to the largely stable G20 average, the level has increased in Russia by 12% (2013-2018).Energy efficiency improvements in the residentialsectorremain difficult in Russia, mostly because of the sheer volume of Soviet era buildings in need of renovation and the absence of metering equipment in many buildings. The implementation of energy efficiency standards in buildings is slow, mainly because it is based on non-binding recommendations. Some energy efficiency programmes have been introduced across a large number of regions, although the success of the implementation varies on a case-by-case basis. In 2019, the Federal Law on Energy Savings was amended and introduced measures on metering and some other improvements for existing buildings. Not only are many older buildings in Russia in need of renovation, but the Soviet era housing stock is also being replaced by newer buildings. The construction sector has a large potential for introducing circular economy principles given the scale of material use, the value contained in buildings, labour intensiveness, and the long-term effect of measures.  

EU-Russia Exchange 

There is a clear opportunity for an exchange between the EU and Russia on sustainable building policies and measures. As part of the programme, experts and stakeholders from the EU and Russia come together to share experience and information on relevant policies for new construction and renovation and exchange good practices. 

A series of activities (a workshop series, a final conference, and a final report highlighting the main outcomes of the workshop and featuring good practices in the EU and Russia) is planned to enhance the collaboration between the EU and Russia and promote knowledge sharing in the building sector. BPIE will use its expertise on EU building policies and programmes, their implementation, best practices, and innovation across the Member States and pair it with a wide network of researchers, building experts, and policymakers to promote a series of activities to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange between the EU and Russia. This will be done with the help of the Russian partner ABOK (Non-profit Partnership “Engineers of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Heat supply, and Building thermophysics”, uniting more than 500 collective and individual members comprised of production, design, trade, installation, maintenance organisations, and higher educational institutions in the Russian Federation). 

The workshop series, final conference, and the final report will build capacity between EU and Russian stakeholders, including academia, industry, and civil society. Building on existing research and knowledge in the EU and Russia on selected topics, the project will enhance knowledge exchange to encourage the implementation of effective programmes and strategies promoting low energy in buildings and the sustainable life cycle of buildings.  The project is carried out under the Strategic Partnership for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA).