A European Union (EU) initiative to renovate old buildings could help save energy used for heating and cooling in the housing sector, according to an EU official.
"Right now, 40% of our energy goes to either heating or cooling in buildings. A lot of energy is wasted in the housing sector as old houses consume more heat and energy than the new ones. If we upgrade our housing stocks, we will save a lot of energy,” Kadri Simson, European Union Commissioner for Energy told state-held news agency Wam during her recent visit to Abu Dhabi.
She said that houses built in the 1980s in eastern Europe consume more energy than newer ones. "If you renovate them, you may save as much as 50% of energy [used for heating and cooling]."
The initiative, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from energy consumption, will incorporate specific schemes that will be supported by the EU funds and loans.
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Around 75% of the EU states’ emissions come from energy production and use, said Simson who took up office as part of the new European Commission leadership on 1 December 2019.
The commissioner said she appreciated the UAE’s decarbonisation plans. "You already have a diverse energy mix. You also do research in hydrogen and we can share our experiences in this sector,” Simson told Wam.
She also said she hoped the EU and Gulf states could “work together” in their decarbonisation efforts.
“Alone, we [EU] may achieve a goal to be a climate-neutral continent by 2050, but we are emitting only nine percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, so without good partners we don’t make enough difference," Simson said.