EU climate and energy policy is increasingly focusing on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving energy efficiency, whilst maintaining the security of energy supplies and supporting growth, competitiveness and jobs. Key in achieving these objectives are innovation, cost effectiveness and resource efficiency.
Central to the EU’s efforts are three combined climate and energy goals that are targeted to be achieved by 2020:
- 20% GHG reduction
- 20% increase in renewable energy sources
- 20% energy savings
The EU’s long-term goal is considerably more ambitious, with a 80-95% GHG reduction by 2050. Back in 2006, the EU had already identified buildings as having a high energy saving potential, with 27% for residential and 30% for commercial buildings. Current legislation, e.g. the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive, will have a significant impact on buildings: existing ones undergoing refurbishments as well as new buildings.
Many factors will have an impact on property and property investment, e.g.:
- The drive towards “nearly Zero-Energy Buildings” (nZEB);
- Commercially driven building certifications (e.g. BREEAM, LEED, DGNB and HQE); and,
Climate challenges such as increased flood risks, global heating (or cooling) and potential natural disasters. The biggest challenge lies with the existing building stock, as the large majority of today’s buildings will still be there for decades to come. As buildings take such a central role in people’s daily lives (both in their private and their work lives), and as property is generally seen as a long-term investment, the members of the European Real Estate Forum follow these issues closely and take active part in the debate ensuring that our built environment does not only meet the needs of people today, but also those of future generations.