The upsetting truth is that while the threat of global warming becomes more certain, the most cost-effective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions remain underexploited.
New research demonstrates that 90% of the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings through improved insulation such as mineral wool (glass wool or stone wool) insulation, remains untapped. The findings of the ECOFYS report demonstrate that:
the greatest potential for action is not in northern European countries but in the central and southern parts of the EU;
the trend towards increased use of air conditioning if not combined with proper energy efficiency measures, like installing proper mineral wool (glass wool or stone wool) insulation, is likely to undermine the energy efficiency improvements made through other measures;
smaller existing buildings are a key area for more action on insulation.
Although current EU rules on energy efficiency in buildings are a step in the right direction they can at best be considered a lukewarm response to capturing the enormous potential that exists to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings by improving insulation.
If we want to take climate change seriously and unlock the potential that remains in the building sector it's time we put our house in order.