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MEPs Ask for Fire Resilience to be Included in the EU Green Deal

Fire Safe Europe

1 Oct 2020

MEP Tanja Fajon (S&D, Slovenia), MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland), and Fire Safe Europe called upon EU and national policymakers to integrate fire resilience in the EU Green Deal’s initiatives on buildings.

Speaking at an event organised jointly with Fire Safe Europe, the MEPs emphasised how fire resilience and fire safety can improve buildings’ sustainability and contribute to the success of the EU Green Deal.

The EU Green Deal’s initiatives on buildings, such as the Renovation Wave or the strict implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, aim to make buildings more sustainable and contribute to the EU’s energy efficiency and climate objectives.

MEP Tanja Fajon“I am very happy that the resources that the European Union will devote to energy renovations in the coming years are high, and we must ensure that renovations are done in a way that also includes the fire safety of our buildings. Otherwise, the investment efficiency will only be partial”.

Buildings are responsible for 36% of all carbon emissions in the EU and have been identified in the European Green Deal as one of the key areas to make the EU climate neutral by 2050. For a sustainable future characterised by climate-neutrality, circularity and energy efficiency, it is crucial to build sustainable and fire safe.

The EU Green Deal offers a unique opportunity to make the EU building stock fit for the future by accounting for fire resilience. Building fires can have adverse effects on the environment, the society and the economy. It is important to limit these negative effects by ensuring buildings can resist to, adapt to, recover from fire and quickly get back in service. As Prof Margaret McNamee, Professor of Fire Safety Engineering at Lund University stressed: “we need to start thinking in a holistic manner; there are ways for us to incorporate holistic thinking into the development of green systems and technologies.”

Mr Ivo Jaanisoo, Director of Construction and Housing Department – Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, shared inspiring lessons from the implementation of the Energy Performance Buildings Directive in Estonia and highlighted that what had been key in implementing the Energy Performance Buildings Directive was “political will, financial instruments, improved technological conditions and a step by step process”.

MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen called upon the EU actors to adopt a holistic approach as – “our current approach is leaving areas untouched; it is sometimes difficult to bring it together, and it does not seem to be effective enough”.

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