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.