The European Climate Pact (ECP) is a new, EU-wide initiative inviting individuals, communities and organizations to participate in climate action and building a greener Europe. This pact is introduced under the European Green Deal (EGD), which is an action plan to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean and circular economy. The goal of the EGD is to make EU’s economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities and making the transition just and inclusive for all. In order to achieve this goal, the EGD must encourage a stronger action coming from citizens. Hence, the role of the ECP is to create a space for everyone to share information, to open for discussion and to act on the climate crisis with a goal of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The ECP wishes to create a space or network for people across Europe, being it professionals or citizens, communities or individuals. The inclusiveness of this approach to the EU public shall connect regions, local communities, industry, schools and civil society, to share information about climate change, and to promote solutions. The ECP is built on the following values:
social sustainability, social well-being, inclusion, equality, diversity, accessibility and affordability
The European Climate Pact and housing
In the starting phase, the ECP will prioritize actions having immediate benefits for the climate, for the environment and for the health and wellbeing of citizens. The four selected areas for this phase are green areas, green mobility, green buildings and green skills. In respect of targeted area of green buildings, this initiative will support the renovation of buildings in line with the Renovation Wave to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The ECP recognizes the building sector as one of those with the most potential for having a positive impact on climate change.
The ECP will support sharing of information and knowledge of benefits that improvements of energy and materials performance bring to homes, hospitals, schools, social housing and municipal services. Moreover, they aim to support mayors and citizens in provision of guidance and technical assistance with tackling the low energy performance of their buildings and improving their resilience, with a special consideration of affordability and energy poverty.
Possibilities of public engagement
Involving people directly in discussions on climate challenges creates co-ownership, unlocks technological and social innovation, and optimizes decision-making. The role of the ECP is to open up for public and encourage people to engage in the topic. In the first place, the ideas and contributions to the ECP will be communicated during an Annual Climate Pact event.
Another way to become part of the ECP is to sing up to climate action pledges. The ECP invites organizations, collectives and even individuals to register their climate initiatives and turn them into climate action pledges, in order to boost action, encourage others to join, and scale up and replicate good ideas and projects.
As an individual, one can become a volunteering ECP Ambassador and contribute to the ECP by informing, inspiring and supporting climate action in their communities and networks.
Public consultation of the European Climate Pact
As part of the development of the ECP, the European Commission had opened for a public consultation in the first half of 2020. Its aim was to gather input from a broad range of stakeholders, ranging from national, regional and local authorities to businesses, civil society and education organizations, consumer groups, research and innovation centers, as well as individual citizens. Habitat for Humanity International contributed to this consultation as we considered it an opportunity to deliver our messages about the importance of renovation of multi-apartment buildings and support of functioning homeowner associations.
We see it as a success that one of the main topics of the ECP is “green buildings”. It confirms that the renovation of buildings is a crucial step in the fight against the climate change. Moreover, the ECP acknowledges that the renovation of buildings has a significant impact on health and well-being of the citizens.
The European Climate Pact is yet another important initiative under the European Green Deal that can significantly contribute to awareness-raising, knowledge-sharing and uniting all relevant stakeholders in the process of making Europe a greener place. Renovation of buildings is an inevitable part of this whole process and thanks to initiatives like the ECP, we hope for better and more effective implementation of solutions, such as renovation of existing building stock, that will alleviate energy poverty in the European region and make people’s houses real, high-quality homes.
Find more information about the European Green Deal here.
Find more information about the EC public consultation of the European Climate Pact here.