The ELIH-MED project – co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the MED Programme – represents how and to what extent EU financial support can encourage low-carbon transition in buildings by promoting growth and jobs.

Investing in low-carbon transition in Mediterranean buildings is a necessary condition to build a more sustainable Europe and enhance economic recovery. Low-carbon transition in buildings has been boosting the sector of building refurbishment, creating new jobs and also contributing to the adoption of new energy consumption behaviour.

On 28 November, the ELIH-MED final event took place at the European Parliament thanks to the invitation of Francesc Gambùs (MEP) and in the presence of the European Commission, represented by Marie C. Donnelly, Director at DG ENERGY, and Vicente Rodriguez Sáez, Deputy Head at DG REGIO.

At the end of the proceedings, political representatives of three Mediterranean towns – Frattamaggiore (IT), Malaga (ES) Agios Athanassios (CY) -, signed the Ljubljana declarationResponding to challenges regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy in Mediterranean buildings” that is the political output of the capitalisation process of MARIE, ELIH-MED and PROFORBIOMED and aims to create a new model of multi-level governance adopting regional strategies for the implementation of policies for energy renovation and renewable energy in buildings. In such a new governance model, which would be promoted with the support of the CPMR Inter-Mediterranean Commission towards a joint action plan for energy renovation in buildings, the Regions and Cities will play a key role, both politically and financially.

Representatives from the Regions of Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia (ES), Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon (FR), Piedmont, Basilicata, Umbria, Sicily (IT), East Macedonia and Thrace, Western Macedonia (GR) together with different Municipalities, energy agencies, public bodies and associations, such as the CPMR, called on the European Institutions to increase the use of Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) in the energy renovation of low income buildings and asked the Mediterranean Countries, Regions and Cities to support the implementation of different EU regulations aiming at increasing energy performance and promoting the use of renewables.

When speaking of the environment, the future is tomorrow, but at least we have a good starting point, which are the objectives fixed by the EU for 2020. I believe that it is important to guarantee the right balance between the protection of the environment, our efforts in favour of a new European re-industrialisation project and the creation of jobs,” stated MEP Francesc Gambùs after the meeting.

ELIH-MED in its pilot projects established a cut in energy consumption of 40 per cent, a decrease in energy expenditure of 20 per cent and an investment for energy retrofitting of about 30 000 euros per dwelling. The projects concerned the renovation of 1000 low income houses, with a significant increase of thermal comfort in the home for the occupants.