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 Full text 
Wednesday, 16 September 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

First voting session (continuation)

  Ciarán Cuffe, rapporteur. – Madam President, today, President von der Leyen called for European buildings to become less wasteful, less expensive and more sustainable. As rapporteur for this report, maximising the energy efficiency of the European building stock, I know we can do this. I want to thank the shadow rapporteurs for their close cooperation and support during negotiations. We now have a strong and united position on our demands for the upcoming renovation wave strategy. This is a good news story – we can create jobs, tackle energy poverty, improve air quality and reduce emissions in these extraordinary times. It tackles the health crisis, the economic crisis and the climate crisis. Yesterday, weather records were broken here in Belgium. 35° of heat is not normal and we know that 40% of emissions that cause this come from buildings. With the right investment, buildings can reduce emissions rather than raise them.

The report says we must fight energy poverty by working with neighbourhoods and communities to ensure healthy and safe living conditions and ensure affordability. We must raise national targets and revise the energy efficiency directives and the energy performance of buildings directives and binding minimum energy performance standards are required. We also require integrated renovation programmes, a holistic approach from rooftop solar and e-mobility, from heat pumps to district heating is required. So let’s use recovery funds for the renovation way.

I endorse the President’s call for a new Bauhaus. As an architect, I welcome this. So let’s harness the creativity, the design skills and the demand for change and let’s start with the worst performing buildings and the communities most at risk. Let’s lift people out of energy poverty and give them the buildings and the homes that they deserve.

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