Decarbonisation heating and cooling: a climate imperative

The EU has met its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, compared with 1990 levels. However, meeting targets for 2030 and beyond requires a doubling of the annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions achieved between 2005 and 2020. Heating and cooling account for half of the final EU energy use. With energy used for heating being significant, decarbonising heating is therefore critical. Solutions to save energy and introduce efficient, renewable heating and cooling systems exist and must be rolled out faster. This briefing looks at heating and cooling trends across the EU. It highlights the twin benefits — for climate mitigation and security of supply — of combining energy efficiency and conservation measures with rapidly switching to renewable and waste energy use in heating and cooling.