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Decarbonisation of buildings: for climate, health and jobs

A new report by European academy experts calls for policy action in three areas to make buildings in the European Union nearly zero greenhouse gas emitters: construct energy-efficiently to reduce the need for heating and air conditioning or generate renewable energy on site, reduce emissions of the construction industry and supply chain, and design buildings that can be disassembled and recycled at end of their lifetime.

EASAC report "Decarbonisation of buildings"
Image: EASAC

These measures would allow the EU to live up to its climate pledge under the Paris Agreement. The implementation challenges, however, are enormous. An estimated 146 million homes with poor energy efficiency need to be renovated. The rate of annually renovated European building stock should therefore be two or three times higher than the current 1-1.5%. While the recommendations are addressed primarily to the EU related to its “Renovation Wave Strategy”, the report makes clear that national and local authorities also have a big role to play. As there are only about ten years left before the door closes for limiting global warming to less than 1.5ºC, there is an urgent need for action.

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences contributed to the report by delegating Arno Schlüter (ETH Zurich) as author and Matthias Sulzer (Empa) as reviewer.

Edition / Volume: EASAC Policy Report, 43
Pages: v, 73 p.
Standard identifier: ISBN 978-3-8047-4263-5


  • Buildings
  • Energy efficiency


Dr. Roger Pfister
Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
House of Academies
PO Box
3001 Bern