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17 June 2021

Towards climate neutrality in the buildings sector (Summary)

10 Recommendations for a socially equitable transformation by 2045


As the EU mobilizes to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, increasing attention is being focused on the decarbonization of the buildings sector, in part because the required change promises to touch the lives of every resident in the eurozone. Accordingly, as we deliberate the best way forward, it will be crucial to ensure a socially equitable transformation process. Policies to reduce emissions will need to be combined with instruments that fairly distribute the cost burden of decarbonization. At the same time, our effort to guarantee the right of future generations to an intact environment will need to be carefully reconciled with the right of European citizens to affordable energy and housing. In forging a path to net zero, we will need to balance the interests of tenants, landlords, real estate companies, and energy providers, as a failure to adequately consider the interests of relevant stakeholders could call forth political opposition that endangers the transformation process as a whole.

In this way, the strategy that is ultimately pursued must take into account a variety of considerations if it is to be both fair and politically viable. The “Fit for 55” package provides us with a unique window of opportunity to take robust action. We believe the policy recommendations presented in this study are well-tailored to achieve the goal of rapid and ambitious climate action while also giving balanced consideration to all who will be affected by change. I hope you find this report both informative and stimulating.

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Bibliographical data

Georg Thomaßen, Alexandra Langenheld, Dr. Patrick Graichen (Agora Energiewende) Dr. Martin Pehnt, Uta Weiß, Mandy Werle (ifeu - Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg)
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17 June 2021

Suggested Citation
Agora Energiewende (2021): Towards climate neutrality in the buildings sector: 10 Recommendations for a socially equitable transformation by 2045. Executive Summary.
This publication was produced within the framework of the project A social consensus on the transformation of the building sector towards climate neutrality.

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