July 1. 2022. 6:08

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(Re)constructing Europe: What challenges are Member States facing?

Listen to the full event here:

(Re)constructing Europe: What challenges are Member States facing?

The EU’s post-pandemic Green Recovery is laying the foundations for a new understanding of buildings and construction processes. The needs of people and systems are being reconsidered, while new implications of construction work are taken into consideration, such as energy production and efficiency, recycling of materials and sourcing of raw materials, transportation of tools and materials.

Buildings are responsible for about 40% of the EU’s energy consumption, and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions from energy. But only 1% of buildings undergo energy efficient renovation every year.

The Commission aims to at least double building renovation rates in the next ten years and make sure renovations lead to higher energy and resource efficiency. This will enhance the quality of life for people living in and using the buildings, reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, foster digitalisation, and improve the reuse and recycling of materials. By 2030, 35 million buildings could be renovated and up to 160,000 additional green jobs created in the construction sector.

A carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), announced in the European Green Deal, will also serve as an essential element of the EU toolbox to meet the objective of a climate-neutral EU by 2050. The CBAM will equalise the price of carbon between domestic products and imports and encourage producers in non-EU countries to green their production processes. It will initially apply only to a selected number of goods at high risk of carbon leakage: iron and steel, cement, fertiliser, aluminium, and electricity generation.

Given the scale of emissions produced by the construction sector, cleaning it up will be a challenge for EU policymakers and Member States, particularly when addressing entire global supply chains.

Rewatch this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to find out more about the new economic and environmental challenges for the construction sector, particularly for South-Eastern Europe. Discussed questions included:

– What will be the new implications faced during, before and after construction – from conceptualising, planning, designing, constructing and maintaining?
– How can the global supply chain crisis be navigated by South-Eastern Member States?
– What role can the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility play?
– What are the implications of higher construction materials and energy prices?
– Would there be an increased demand for recycled (secondary) construction materials and products? And, is there a lack of adequate recycling facilities?
– What form can the ‘renovation wave’ take in less economically advanced Member States, and what will the costs be for the construction sector?
– How to make construction a cornerstone of CBAM?

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