Halving CO2 emissions in the built environment

Some time soon major decisions will have to be made about effective environmental policies for the built environment. At the request of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency CE Delft has conducted a study into potential tools for this purpose. The aim of the study was to analyse the possibilities and limitations of nine potential policy instruments designed to achieve a major cut in CO2 emissions in the built environment of at least 50% in 2030 relative to 1990.

Along with an analysis of the problems hampering improved energy efficiency, the report describes and analyses a series of policies ranging from subsidies to a carbon tax, considering not only their (social as well as direct) costs but also their effectiveness and practicability. These nine policy instruments vary in their robustness and thus in their impact in social terms, administrative terms and effectiveness for the purpose at hand. The assessment methodology employed was based on the one hand on an analysis of previous research: proceeding from empirical studies, what can we conclude with relative certainty? On the other hand, a digital survey was carried out to establish expert opinion regarding the instruments concerned.