Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice President of the European Commission, has been announced as the patron for World Green Building Week 2016 in Europe, helping to highlight the role that green building can play in combatting climate change and reducing energy bills.
Mr Šefčovič is responsible for establishing Europe's ‘Energy Union’, which among other things helps mobilise investment in renewables, reduce energy bills for consumers and businesses, improve energy efficiency – and to ensure the EU can meet its ambitious energy and climate change targets.
Speaking on the first day of World Green Building Week, Mr Šefčovič said: “We can significantly reduce our energy bills, create better living conditions in our homes, and make a significant contribution to fighting climate change - all by changing our perspective on buildings.
“Greener buildings provide better quality of living, consume less energy and pollute less. World Green Building Week showcases this on the European and global stage, and I’m delighted to play my part in supporting it.”
World Green Building Week is the flagship event of the global green building movement, and raises awareness of green buildings around the world, highlighting how they are the most effective means to achieving a range of environmental, social and economic goals. The week takes place from 26 September to 2 October, 2016.
Mr Šefčovič recently addressed 170 retrofit leaders at a summit for BUILD UPON, the world’s largest collaborative project on building renovation, which is funded through the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
In a recorded address, he said: “Smartening the use of energy in existing buildings is a clear priority for the Energy Union, and represents perhaps the single biggest opportunity we have for strengthening the literal ‘building blocks’ of society: our homes, schools and workplaces.
“You are playing an important role in creating a collaborative space for action. We are therefore counting on your leadership to create a renovation revolution across the region that puts the building users and their needs at its heart.”
The EU is soon to present its “energy efficiency package” including the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and a Smart Financing for Smart Buildings initiative.
Creating a long term demand for energy efficiency, this "Energy efficiency package" will also aim at increasing confidence and trust of investors, notably throughout the Smart Financing initiative.
For more information on World Green Building Week, visit www.worldgreenbuildingweek.org or follow #WGBW16 and #betterbuildgreen on Twitter and Facebook.