EurActiv published an article exposing that Member States are not committed enough to achieve their energy efficiency target, particularly in buildings. If this is true, it is a worrying trend.
Energy efficiency means that we can achieve more with less: more heating for buildings with less energy consumed and less greenhouse gas emitted, for example. It is good for the environment, good for the energy bills of Europeans, and good for the economy because these renovating and insulating activities create jobs. The European Union has already adopted the Energy Efficiency Directive, which Member States are now in charge of implementing. So why don’t we move forward?
Renovating residential buildings has been estimated to have a cost-effective savings potential of 61% by 2030. Cutting your energy bill by more than half for years in exchange for insulating your house once, this cannot be such a bad deal? Energy consumption decreases by up to 90% if you opt for a passive house: we completed a passive house in Evere (Belgium) at the end of 2013, and it can be heated with the energy of a single iron. At ISOPA, we believe that energy efficiency is not only necessary to help reduce emissions and fight climate change, it is also common sense because it is good for Europeans and good for our economies.
To achieve this, there should be binding targets for buildings at milestone dates such as 2020 and 2030: the current EU objectives of reducing by 20% both energy consumption and CO2 emissions can be largely met as far as the building sector is concerned. With the existing insulation technologies, including polyurethanes, they could even be easily exceeded.
It is time for action. ISOPA, a major actor on behalf of the polyurethanes industry, is engaged for a strong and resolute action in fighting climate change (see our engagement in favour of sustainable development). European Institutions will go through major changes in 2014, and we hope that the next Members of Parliament and Commissioners will put all the energy required in achieving swift progress towards an energy efficient Europe, and give a new dynamic to Member States’ actions.