EASAC report recommends cuts to building emissions
To address the climate pledge under the Paris agreement, countries in Europe need to focus on the issue of greenhouse emission from 250 million existing buildings.
In a new report, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) experts call for far reaching policy action across European countries.
William Gillett, EASAC’s Energy Programme Director, said,
“Policymakers have long focused on creating energy-efficient buildings that reduce the need for heating and air conditioning or generate renewable energy on site. But the energy used for operating buildings is only part of the story. We must urgently broaden the scope and look at emissions embodied in construction materials and methods – both for new buildings and building renovation”.
EASAC’s messages to policymaker focused on:
- Phase out fossil fuels by 2030, increase integrated supplies of decarbonised electricity and heat to buildings, industry and transport, and accelerate the deployment of carbon capture and storage.
- Use grants and incentives to trigger, leverage and de-risk private financing for deep energy related building renovations.
- Regulate levels of embodied greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in building materials and components, and promote recycled materials, re-used building components, and renovation instead of demolition.
- Refocus building regulations, certification schemes and incentives to deliver new and renovated buildings that operate with nearly zero GHG emissions.
- Promote health and wellbeing to double / triple rates of renovations that improve air quality, increase access to daylight, and avoid draughts and overheating as well as reducing GHG emissions.
- Champion public authorities and cities, facilitate and support their commitments to decarbonise buildings and reduce energy poverty.
- Expand and modernise the building industry to operate using circular business models with three million more jobs (including high quality jobs) to deliver new and renovated buildings with nearly zero GHG emissions
- Improve access for building owners and professionals to certified data on the embodied GHG emissions of building materials and components, and on the energy and GHG emission performance of new and renovated buildings
- Update using an integrated approach to phase out fossil fuels, increase renewable energy supplies and reduce cumulative GHG emissions from buildings