Towards a climate-resilient built environment

What opportunities and priorities for climate adaptation in the building sector in the EU? Find out more in the new discussion paper of the BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe).

Climate impacts are increasingly threatening our lives, health, safety, and economy. Therefore, the EU needs a strategic approach to climate adaptation for the built environment based on principles of Just Resilience. This is why the BPIE recently published a set of policy recommendations in the form of policy recommendations, targeting adaptation to climate change into the built environment.

The Council of the EU itself acknowledged the need for addressing this specific topic on 17th June, calling on both the Commission and Member States to “further develop and implement solutions to narrow the climate protection gap, taking into account the need to incentivise preventive adaptation measures”.

Despite significant efforts to embed climate adaptation into multiple policies, there is currently no holistic approach for a climate-resilient built environment. Therefore, the discussion paper from the BPIE is providing some key-insights.

Here are the main points from the document, to consider:

  • Climate-related extreme events have already caused an estimated €650 billion in damages from 1980 to 2022.
  • In 2023, EU economic losses related to weather and climate events exceeded €13.4 billion – more than the total EU budget for security and defence between 2021-2027.
  • The EU risks economic losses of €1 trillion per year due to coastal flooding by the century’s end.
  • Nearly 13% of EU cities have significant populations at risk of river flooding.
  • Heat-related deaths in the EU have increased by 94% between 2000 and 2020.

This shows how important it is to consider how climate adaptation for the built environment can address citizens’ needs for stability, resilience, wellbeing, and offer a compelling new narrative. Let’s ensure that buildings and homes protect us against extreme weather events and that investments in energy renovations remain robust against future challenges.