Activists: EU Must Pursue Green Building Solutions Without Creating More Homeless

apartment topped with a green roof
Groendakmetklaproos op Halve Wereld photo by Picasdre is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Green roofs and other upgrades to existing housing may help the climate, but they can be hard on tenants who are stuggling to pay rent.

Homelessness in the EU has increased dramatically over the past ten years. The numbers are expected to rise as post-pandemic evictions put those out on the streets who have lost income and cannot afford the rent.

Meanwhile, EU “Green” Planners are eyeing requirements for more stringent energy efficiency for buildings. Homelessness activists are now warning that the costs of upgrading insulation, heating and cooling will add to energy insecurity for home renters and owners.1

In other words, after dealing with even more essential needs such as rent and food, they will have great difficulty paying for essentials such as heat. Lack of some form of energy subsidy may drive even more of the most vulnerable towards homelessness.

Read more on this impending crisis and what can be done about it at EURACTIV: EU’s Green Building Push Risks Driving Homelessness, Activists Warn*

*note: the article makes several references to the EU ETS. For those who are unfamiliar, ETS stands for Emissions Trading System, the world’s earliest greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme.

Footnotes

  1. People were highlighting the tension between building changes to meet climate change targets and homelessness before COVID. Try Affordable Housing: Can It Be Lean And Mean And Also Green? and Resilient City, Toronto Style

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