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Heating and cooling is an “oversight in plain sight” of the EU’s 2040 decarbonisation strategy

Heating and cooling is an “oversight in plain sight” of the EU’s 2040 decarbonisation strategy

18 European organisations released a call to action urging the European Commission and Member States to prioritise heating and cooling decarbonisation in the upcoming legislative mandate.


“To deliver on the 2040 target we need to boost renewables and de-fossilize our energy system. The EU should have a strong strategy to phase out fossil fuels. De-fossilizing the heating sector, which represents almost half of the EU’s energy consumption, is key to delivering the energy transition. Today, sustainable bioenergy is the main source of renewable energy in Europe, especially for heating (55.7% of all renewables and 83,6% of all renewable heating),” stated Jean-Marc Jossart, Bioenergy Europe’s Secretary General. 


Released on 6 February 2024, the 2040 Communication rightly identified the significant CO2 abatement potential of the building and industrial sectors, which represent respectively 42% and 25,6% of the EU final energy consumption and remain heavily dependent on fossil-fuel use. However, the undersigned organisations deplored the glaring omission of heating and cooling demands, which represent 80% of buildings’ energy consumption and 60% of industries’ total energy needs.


The coalition composed of industry associations and NGOs calls for immediate action to phase out fossil fuels in heating and cooling, accelerate building renovations, and tap into the EU’s vast potential for renewable and recovered heat sources.


This call for action builds on the momentum from May 2023, when 11 energy organisations presented a dedicated heating and cooling decarbonisation plan to the European Commission.