Emissions from residential heating can be drastically reduced if Europe agrees a ban on new oil and gas boiler installations by 2030 at the latest, according to a Danish researcher who led an EU-wide study to decarbonise the heating and cooling sector.
As talks on the EU’s renewable energy rules resume, one of the main talking points is how to decarbonise the heating sector, and deploy technologies like heat pumps and district heating. The International Energy Agency’s Ute Collier told EURACTIV in an interview that the task is complex and difficult.
The European Union’s proposed new biomass policy has enough built-in safeguards to ensure it doesn’t lead to additional carbon emissions, an EU official told a EURACTIV event last week, amid warnings that the policy risks making global warming worse by increasing deforestation.
As renewable energies gradually take control of power generation, the heating and cooling sector remains far behind, with fossil fuels – heating oil, gas or even coal – still making up 84% of Europe’s heating consumption.
Nordic countries have relegated fuel poverty to the history books by setting legal minimum standards for heating and giving house-owners a strong incentive to invest in refurbishment, says the mayor of the Swedish capital.
Cities are often leaders in climate action and ambition. National governments need to recognise this and empower them with the financial and technical means to complete their transition away from fossil fuels, writes Abdeluheb Choho.