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Fire Safety at the heart of the EU Renovation Wave

On Wednesday, April 18, the ENVI and EMPL Committees in the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of their joint report on the Social Climate Fund (SCF), which included a number of references to fire safety measures accompanying energy-related building renovations. These measures have been included into the definition of “building renovation” to be supported by the Social Climate Fund. The upgrade of electrical installation is also explicitly included, and this will reduce the number of electrical fires.

Every energy-related building renovation must be fire safe
Krzysztof Biskup, Chair of the European Fire Safety Alliance welcomed this outcome, stating that “the Social Climate Fund has provided us with a great opportunity to place safety at the heart of the EU Renovation Wave. Our poorest live in the leakiest and least fire safe buildings, the inclusion of key amendments to this report offers the possibility to address both issues at the same time and cement the idea that every energy-related building renovation must be fire safe.”

The joint report, led by co-Rapporteurs Esther de Lange MEP and David Casa MEP, stipulates that national plans shall include projects to finance energy renovation and accompanying safety measures, while also giving Member States the leeway to include the cost of supporting public and private entities in developing and providing safe and affordable energy efficiency renovation solutions.

Detailed briefing on the EPBD and fire safety
Biskup added that “the integration of fire safety measures within the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) will also be essential in developing a climate-neutral and fire-safe building stock”. The European Fire Safety Alliance published a detailed briefing on the EPBD and fire safety, gathering input from policy makers and stakeholders during the last EU Fire Safety Week. The briefing is available here: https://www.europeanfiresafetyalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/2022_FireSafety_in_EPBD_PolicyBriefing_final.pdf .

About the Social Climate Fund
The proposed EU regulation creating a Social Climate Fund was adopted by the European Commission on 14 July 2021 as part of the ‘fit for 55’ legislative package, which is part of the European Green Deal. The Fund should provide funding to Member States to support measures and investments in increased energy efficiency of buildings, decarbonisation of heating and cooling of buildings, including the integration of energy from renewable sources, and granting improved access to zero and low-emission mobility and transport.

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