The key role of construction for a ‘climate-neutral Europe’ in 2050

The European Green Week 2019 from 13th to 17th May, has the objective to call for urgent action, explore possible pathways for change, and examine how a range of EU policies.

The European Union indicates that the path towards a climate-neutral economy will require action by member countries in seven strategic areas: energy efficiency; deployment of renewable energies; clean, safe and connected mobility; competitive industry and circular economy; infrastructures and interconnections; bio-economy and natural carbon sinks; carbon capture and storage to address remaining emissions.

In the words of the Commissioner for Climate and Energy Action, Miguel Arias Cañete: “Europe currently has the world’s most ambitious and cutting-edge climate and energy framework. We have agreed all the legislation to achieve our 2030 targets, and higher targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency”, as well as investments in clean energy and long-term planning for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.

In celebration of Green Week, sustainable construction becomes an essential partner for Europe to meet climate and energy goals. In fact, from January 2021, new buildings will be near zero energy buildings and the existing building stock will have to be rehabilitated and brought up to European standards at a higher speed.

A clean planet for all

This 30-year-old energy transformation requires an economic and social transformation, and the transformation in which the construction industry is already immersed, as noted in the European Commission (EC) Communication “A Clean Planet for All”.

In this journey, which will lead to building better cities to live and work in, it is perceived how the application of circular economy, energy efficiency and renewable energy in building, in addition to the transformation of work processes, with methodologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Lean Construction, take on a unique role.

Lines of action in which Construction Blueprint has been working together with the 24 partnership institution. This project are focused on Energy Efficiency as one of the main drivers of skills development in the sector. Together with this area of interest, the project is also in line with the other challenges of the industry: Digitalisation and Circular Economy. In addition, H&S Blueprint complements the main Blueprint project developing an strategic framework for the improvement of training in Health and Safety to cover the emerging requirements of the new construction industry, related with Energy Efficiency and biomaterials, new building materials and insulation, technology and individual processes.

Without a doubt, for the climate neutrality that Europe pursues for 2050, more elements will be needed such as investments, technological solutions and innovations, harmonisation of actions in the different key areas (industrial policy, financing, education, employment or research), and qualification and training of professionals. Not forgetting the life cycle of the building, from the beginning to the demolition and management of construction waste.