Roundtable Discussion: The EU Climate Targets and the Contribution of the Buildings Sector – Need for an effective 'Renovation Wave' with Matthew Karnitschnig (Politico), Lothar Fehn Krestas (Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community), Hans van Steen (European Commission), Pernille Weiss (European Parliament) & Holger Lösch (BDI)

BDI-Initiative for Energy-efficient Buildings

Energy efficiency in buildings: the German Federal Government plans to cut total CO2 emissions in Germany by up to 40 % by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

The German Federal Government plans to reduce total CO2 emissions in Germany by up to 40% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. This ambitious climate policy objective can then only be achieved if the buildings sector makes an important contribution. German industry has the technologies needed to protect the climate.

The BDI climate study calculates that 63 million tonnes of greenhouse gases can be saved by 2020 with these technologies. Moreover, 90 % of all measures identified are economic in the eyes of the potential decision-makers if the entire lifecycle is taken into consideration. If all these technological prevention levers are effectively deployed, this corresponds to a reduction of more than 40 % in the buildings sector.

Clear framework conditions for investment decisions are necessary.

Complexity and contradictions in laws, decrees and financial support programmes must be dismantled and consistent legislation must be ensured so that the intended incentive mechanisms can be used comprehensively.

The high energy requirements of buildings call for a holistic approach which encompasses the shells of buildings as well as building technology.

Investment decisions should be taken on the basis of a holistic assessment of lifecycle costs based on the principle of sustainable construction. Energy-saving contracting can be an important instrument in this connection. Public-private partnership (PPP) models are a suitable possibility for designing lifecycle-oriented investments. This is the way to enable a realistic assessment of innovative procurement, financing and business models.

Technology openness is needed in all policy and regulatory measures

Technology openness in all policy and regulatory measures is essential to ensure that the technologies which best achieve climate protection objectives can assert themselves in economic competition.

Uniform orientation of all policy measures is neeeded.

A uniform orientation of all policy measures which can have an impact on the energy consumption of buildings is necessary. This must be measured against a single energy parameter: primary energy consumption.