Buildings are crucial to meeting COP21’s ambition

The COP21 Paris agreement to pursue efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C has shifted the goalposts for European energy policy decisions, writes Oliver Rapf.

Greenhouse gas reduction targets will have to be redefined in order to not cross this threshold, and policies delivering the reductions have to be made much more effective and ambitious. Solutions are available, but time is of essence, as leading climate researchers concluded in a recent study on how to meet the 1.5°C challenge. They identify faster improvements in energy efficiency as an important enabling factor. The building sector has a wealth of solutions to contribute.

[…] European policymakers have a solution at hand: the built environment is the nexus where some of the most important policy levers to limit global warming meet. Europe’s building stock could not only reduce greenhouse gases by increasing its efficiency levels, it could also enable an increasing share of renewables in the energy system.

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