Climate action has taken centre stage in Europe with the European Commission tabling an ambitious package of green policies. At Knauf Insulation we are working with European Union and national policy makers to unlock the incredible potential of these plans with a focus on upscaling renovation initiatives and ensuring quality work.
When the European Commission unveiled its ambitious raft of climate action proposals in the summer of 2021, our public affairs team welcomed the news as a golden opportunity for renovation.
The proposals showed how the European Union could meet its collective goal to reduce Europe’s net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 as a historic milestone on the road to becoming the world’s first net zero continent by 2050.
The plan also built on the Commission’s Renovation Wave strategy to at least double renovation rates in the next 10 years and renovate 35 million buildings by 2030.
To really deliver historic emission reductions in buildings, there needs to be a focus on eight key areas:
- Create an outstanding legacy
- Unlock renovation funding
- Focus on real performance
- Ensure renovation delivers
- Put energy efficiency first
- Harmonise carbon metrics
- Nurture green infrastructure
- Ensure zero energy buildings
2 Unlock renovation funding
The Commission’s proposals call for all revenues from the Emissions Trading System (ETS) to be channelled to projects that support climate objectives. In addition, it has proposed a separate emissions trading scheme on fuel used in buildings.
Our Public Affairs Director Quentin Galland said: “It is essential that renovation is central to using these revenues in the most effective way, including for technical assistance and skills development among professionals to perform highquality renovations.
“The Commission has also proposed that half the ETS revenues from the new ETS for buildings must be invested in low-income households.
“Around 34 million Europeans cannot afford to keep their homes warm and we want to see action to ensure that renovation gives these people the comfort they deserve.”
4 Ensure renovation delivers
The revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is an important chance to focus on real performance and renovation.
Our Public Affairs Director Quentin Galland says: “At Knauf Insulation we are calling for an EUwide certification scheme for energy efficiency meters so that all Member States have trust in the results recorded.
“We also want to open up Energy Performance Certificates to real performance metrics. Real performance is a powerful tool that will support the introduction of a deep renovation standard and financially reward investments in a progressive way depending on the quality of renovation.
“Moving from paying for measures to paying for performance will ensure the Renovation Wave delivers.”
7 Nurture green infrastructure
The revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive has to put green infrastructure — green walls and roofs — at the heart of Europe’s buildings.
The benefits are well documented. Green infrastructure helps absorb CO2, encourage biodiversity, cool hot urban buildings in summer, manage stormwater and absorb air pollution.
The EPBD needs to encourage the installation of green roofs and walls and include mandatory provisions for certain categories of buildings — such as for large commercial centres — to maximise all these benefits across Europe.
Furthermore, the renovation of public buildings such as schools and hospitals should provide flagship showcases for green infrastructure to offer best practice insight and public education
Picture in the header: Copyright © IFREMER Stéphane LESBAT
The 3,700 m2 headquarters for the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) in Plouzané in France features Knauf Insulation’s Naturoll 032, TP138, Ultracoustic and FIT035 solutions. The dramatic curved building accommodates 840 employees and is designed to reflect its striking sea-view location.