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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

17 January 2023 - Three leading business, corporate and investor networks focused on climate change – the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) Europe and Climate Group – came together with over a dozen European business associations and investor networks in a letter to the European Parliament calling for ambitious reform of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). 10 March 2023, this letter has been shared with all Members of the European Parliament ahead of the plenary vote on 14 March.

Read the full letter and its annex.

  • Key European and international business associations, and investor and corporate networks, including Corporate Leaders Group Europe, IIGCC and nonprofit Climate Group publish an open letter to the European Parliament on the importance of decarbonising the buildings sector to help achieve the EU’s climate and energy goals.
  • The letter emphasises to the Members of the European Parliament that the EU’s economic actors are ready to implement an ambitious and robust legislation that can deliver improvements to the lives of millions of inhabitants in Europe, support energy security, help achieve the EU’s climate and energy ambitions, and boost the EU’s skilled green jobs.
  • The letter was first published and sent to Members of the European Parliament ahead of an ITRE Committee vote on the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive on 09 February. On 10 March 2023, the letter was shared with all Members of the European Parliament ahead of the plenary vote on 14 March.

The letter argues that addressing the EU’s inefficient building stock can no longer be delayed and that it is a critical piece in ensuring Europe’s future security and prosperity.

The letter reiterates that business and investors are ready to play their part in the transition of the buildings sector in line with the EU’s climate and energy goals. It also provides a list of business solutions to increase energy efficiency in buildings, research insights on national policies that can support stepping up the decarbonisation and energy efficiency in buildings, as well as mechanisms to accelerate investments in this key sector.

Led by IIGCC, CLG and Climate Group, the letter is also signed by fifteen other organisations - We Mean Business Coalition, PRI, WBCSD, the B Team, World Green Building Council, EiiF, EuroACE, European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), Euroheat & Power, EURIMA, European Copper Institute, CER Sustainable Business Network Slovenia, Skift Business Climate Leaders, Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) Portugal and Změna k lepšímu (Change for the Better) Czechia.

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, IIGCC, said: “Real estate is a significant asset class for investors, while simultaneously the buildings sector is responsible for 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of emissions in the EU. Therefore, for the EU to meet its climate and energy targets, investors will have to play a vital role through their capital allocation, investment decisions and stewardship activities in relation to real estate. An ambitious and reformed EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive would provide investors with a clearer and more enabling environment to deliver this.”    

Ursula Woodburn, Head of EU Relations, CLG Europe, said: “The EU needs to get building energy performance right. Ambitious standards in this key legislation would drive down emissions, households’ energy consumption, and literally insulate Europeans from high prices and the import of fossil fuels. Businesses are looking to the European Parliament for clear and ambitious signals that will deliver the pace and scale necessary to achieve our climate targets - this is critical both for  investment and for businesses to drive deep retrofitting.”

Mike Peirce, Executive Director of Systems Change, Climate Group, said: “Buildings are a net zero priority area, accounting for approximately 36% of emissions in the EU. Climate Group supports this call to action to the European Parliament for increased ambition on the EPBD. This will help to reduce emissions, as well as leading to increased energy resilience, improved health and wellbeing for building occupants, and the creation of good quality jobs. We call on all stakeholders to work towards this common goal, to create a built environment fit for the 21st century."

Quentin de Hults, Director Green & Healthy Buildings, European Copper Institute, said: “The EU cannot ensure clean, affordable, and secured energy supply without renovating its building stock. Accelerating efficiency, electrification and renewables in buildings is crucial for a successful energy transition, it requires an ambitious EPBD revision.”

Andreas Guertler, Director of the European Industrial Insulation Foundation, said: "Investing once to save every year is the core delivery of any energy efficiency measure. But especially in the building sector energy efficiency investments offer far more than "just" money, energy and CO2 savings: They come with better comfort and living conditions for the inhabitants and stimulate jobs and businesses here in Europe.”

Ana Struna Bregar, CEO, CER Sustainable Business Network in Slovenia, said: “Energy Efficiency is one of the most important issues on the road to achieve climate goals, save money and achieve better indoor environment. We already have all the technologies, we just need the ambition and the finance.”

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Pascale Palmer

Pascale Palmer, Head of Media

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This letter was developed in collaboration with a number of IIGCC members but does not necessarily represent the views of the entire membership, either individually or collectively.

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