European Commission proposal “next generation EU”: Path to recovery to be further streamlined for a quicker renovation of the building stock

Yesterday’s adoption by the European Commission of its “repair and prepare for the next generation” recovery instrument showed investment needs per sector have been rightly identified and that bold initiatives can be set up in a very short time frame. However, some key improvements to the framework are still required to make citizens feel the Renovation Wave.

Yesterday, a €750 billion Recovery Instrument to combat the impact of the coronavirus crisis has been proposed by the European Commission and will soon be debated by Member States. In its assessment of the investment needs for achieving a green transition, an investment gap of €185 billion (to come from private and public coffers) in the construction sector has been identified by the European Commission. A large fraction of this huge amount would make building envelopes of our dwellings, commercial and industrial buildings more energy efficient (in keeping with the energy efficiency first principle). While the Commission’s evaluation of what is missing and the bold fire power put forward are to be praised, the way to address this investment gap for the construction sector is missing in the European Commission proposal. A dedicated financing tool at European level would be instrumental in helping and getting Member States organized in their actions to address the building stock (and of great help for supporting their implementation of the EPBD long-term renovation strategy and for reaching their energy efficiency target for 2030). Furthermore, the aim should be to triple rather than to double the renovation rate. The above-mentioned improvements targeting the upgrading of the building stock have potential to put our economies on a path compatible to the Paris’ agreement while achieving a sustainable built environment.

PU Europe Secretary General, Arnaud Duvielguerbigny, commented: “active involvement of local and national stakeholders will always be central to effective Renovation Wave(s), however with a clearly labelled EU renovation instrument, the long-term goal will be striking visible and the impetus will be bolder. Over the next weeks, let’s repair that omission in the current proposed framework”.

To the press release here