(14 April 2020) – Ciarán Cuffe, a former Irish minister now turned MEP, has urged the European Commission to take a locally integrated approach to building efficiency, saying it will be “critical” to the success of the upcoming renovation wave announced as part of the European Green Deal.
“The building renovation wave should now be seen in a different context following the COVID-19 outbreak and brought under the post-pandemic recovery plan currently being drawn up at EU level, Cuffe told EurActiv in an emailed statement, accompanying a draft own-initiative report for the European Parliament.
According to Cuffe, the EU’s upcoming recovery plan “can play a crucial role in financing the renovation wave”, which he says will require more than €75 billion in EU incentives per year. “A European renovation wave could assist with an economic recovery by creating local jobs, upskilling workers, and creating resilient communities,” he writes.
Cuffe’s big idea is a call for the European Commission to introduce “integrated renovation programmes” (IRPs) at EU level in order to speed up “deep renovation” of the existing building stock across entire neighbourhoods. According to the former Irish minister, renovation projects can deliver more benefits if they do not focus only on individual buildings but are considered as part of a broader local ecosystem. (EurActiv)