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2021-06-10 | BPIE
Introducing a carbon price on heating fuels – An effective signal for faster decarbonisation?

According to the Renovation Wave Strategy, the buildings sector must contribute a 60% emission reduction to achieve the EU’s 2030 climate target. This requires a steep increase of deep renovations from currently 0.2% to 3% annually and a well-designed bundle of policies to overcome the distinct barriers of the sector. To achieve ambitious reductions in the non-emissions trading system (ETS) sectors (to which buildings and transport currently belong), the introduction of an EU-wide CO2 price in the buildings and transport sectors is currently debated within the European institutions.

In particular, an introduction of an ETS for transport and buildings, either by extending the current EU ETS or by setting up a separate scheme for buildings and transport, is currently being discussed. Both options would imply a transfer of the compliance mechanism at least partly from the Member States to an Emissions Trading Scheme and the regulated parties, and thus a reform of the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). Alternatively, national targets under the ESR could be strengthened to reflect the new climate protection targets.

This briefing shows the role of a carbon price to reduce carbon emissions in the buildings sector based on existing literature, market insights of the building sector and experiences from European countries. The paper then explains the implications for the design of a carbon price regime – either a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme – and the resulting changes to the compliance mechanism for carbon reductions in the building sector. 

2021-05-19 | Rob Bernhardt
Addressing the Cost of Efficiency

The question of cost comes up when discussing any form of change, whether it be automobiles, cell phones or better buildings. Throughout history, humans have bettered their life through innovation, delivering better products for less money, yet a pervasive assumption persists in the construction sector that improvements to building efficiency, durability, resilience or health will negatively impact affordability. The opposite is in fact true, yet the assumption continues in many circles.

To address this assumption, I have frequently been asked for costing studies to demonstrate the affordability of highly energy efficient new buildings. The “better costs more” narrative assumes, for example, that energy efficiency requires adding stuff to buildings, thereby increasing cost, rather than designing them differently to achieve better outcomes. This article is written to provide a response to those concerned about the cost of climate and people friendly new buildings.

2021-05-17 | Zsolt Toth, Jonathan Volt
Introducing Whole-life Carbon metrics: Recommendations for highly efficient and climate-neutral buildings
BPIE

With the drive towards reducing in-use energy to “nearly zero”, sources of carbon emissions from buildings, beyond in-use operational energy demand, become increasingly important and therefore a vital part of future carbon reduction plans. This policy briefing demonstrates that carbon metrics are needed to align building policies and incentives with carbon-neutrality goals.

2021-05-17 | Zsolt Toth, Jonathan Volt
Whole-life Carbon: Challenges and solutions for highly efficient and climate-neutral buildings
BPIE

The European Union aims to be climate-neutral by 2050, requiring a fundamental transformation of the construction and building sectors. This decade is critical as direct building CO2 emissions need to more than halve by 2030 to get on track for a net-zero carbon building stock by 2050. Emissions must be drastically cut throughout the whole lifecycle of buildings, encompassing all operational and embodied emissions. In the Renovation Wave strategy, the European Commission announced its intention to address “lifecycle thinking and circularity”; it is important that the intention is followed up by decisive action and integrated into regulatory proposals. This summary report introduces basic concepts and key issues related to the integration of whole-life carbon considerations in building policies.

EU Taxonomy
2021-05-11 | Helen Naser, Anna Zinecker, Christiana Hageneder
The EU Taxonomy - What does it mean for buildings?
PEEB

PEEB, together with the Work Area Finance of the GlobalABC, published a briefing on the EU taxonomy and its meaning for buildings. 

The EU Taxonomy aims at pushing the financial and industrial sectors towards more investments for climate neutrality in the EU. It does so by establishing a classification framework of sustainable investments. This allows investors to identify which investments are sustainable and can be marketed as such, increasing transparency. 

For buildings, technical screening criteria were developed for the construction of buildings, renovation of buildings, sale and ownership of buildings, installation of energy efficient equipment, or for manufacturing in the supply chain. Demonstrating compliance with these criteria requires collecting data and information – likely more than usually available.

The impact of the EU taxonomy is reinforced through a new corporate sustainability reporting directive and a sustainable finance disclosure regulation, which will likely require disclosure against EU taxonomy metrics. It is relevant mainly for actors outside the EU but spillover effects on other markets and jurisdictions are expected.

2021-04-03 | BPIE
The Renovation Wave strategy & action plan: designed for success or doomed to fail?

This BPIE's gap analysis answers the question: Is the Renovation Wave action plan leading to adequate measures, putting the EU on track to achieve its 2030 climate objectives?

In this analysis, the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) urges the European Commission to intensify political coordination and coherence in the implementation phase of the Renovation Wave strategy, to ensure full decarbonisation of the EU building stock in line with the EU climate goals.

According to the analysis,  the Renovation Wave’s ambition should lead to an annual deep renovation rate from 0.2% to 3% to achieve the 60% GHG emissions reductions of buildings, required to achieve the EU 2030 climate targets. BPIE’s proposed ambition level indicates that renovation efforts required to achieve EU climate targets in reality represents a factor of fifteen compared to current practice.

BPIE urges the European Commission to use the upcoming legislative revisions within the Fit for 55 package as an opportunity to take immediate measures, which, among other recommendations, should include a comprehensive revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. 

2021-04-28
Buildings and Construction: a key sector for climate action

A key sector for climate action, buildings and construction is not on track. Driving down emissions will entail: aggressively reducing energy demand in the built environment, while decarbonizing the power sector and implementing materials strategies that reduce lifecycle carbon emissions. In this brochure, you will find key data, key messages and further readings about the buildings and construction sector.

2021-02-24 | BPIE
A PARIS-PROOF RETAIL REAL ESTATE SECTOR

According to the 2020 Buildings Global Status Report, the buildings and construction sector accounts for 35% of final energy use and 38% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally. The new report by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) shows that the retail real estate (RRE) sector will have to play a major part in achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The report is a status quo analysis of existing policy and market approach to climate change actions and strategies relevant to the RRE sector, and represents the starting point for developing a common vision and language on how to decarbonise the sector. It aims to identify relevant policy and market developments that can inform tailored recommendations to industry players and policy makers in order to be in line with the Paris Agreement.

2021-02-09 | IEA
India Energy Outlook 2021

The India Energy Outlook 2021 is a new special report from the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook series. The report explores the opportunities and challenges ahead for India as it seeks to ensure reliable, affordable and sustainable energy to a growing population. The report examines pathways out of the crisis that emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as longer-term trends, exploring how India’s energy sector might evolve to 2040 under a range of scenarios. The report is presented as a series of ‘deep dives’ exploring cross-cutting issues, including:

- The effects of economic growth, urbanisation and industrialisation on India’s fuel and sector-level demand trends.
- The evolution of mobility, including electrification, in the context of growing urbanisation.
- The prospects for expanding energy access, especially in rural areas.
- Flexibility requirements in the power sector under ambitious renewable capacity targets and a significant rise in electricity demand – especially from air conditioners.
- Challenges and opportunities for clean energy finance, including investments in solar energy and batteries
- The supply and infrastructure required for an expanded role for natural gas, along with a sector-level assessment of its potential.
- Impacts of India’s energy policy choices on energy access, air pollution and carbon emissions.
- India’s growing importance in global energy issues, and the implications of its development trajectory on international energy supply, trade and investment.

2020-11-12 | UN Economic and Social Council
Updated Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings

The Joint Task Force on Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings developed the Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings (ECE/ENERGY/GE.6/2017/4), and in 2017 the Committee on Sustainable Energy and the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management endorsed the document. To deploy the Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings and to set in motion the process of setting up international centres of excellence and a consortium of educational and research institutions, and thereby to accelerate transformation of the world’s building stock, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe launched a programme on high-performance buildings.

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