In observance of widespread self-quarantine policies, we are spending 99.9% of our time inside of our homes.
It is becoming clearer that people need comfortable, healthy and sustainable housing to live, learn and work in. This is especially true for the vulnerable groups, having to choose between paying their bills and putting food on the table. Unfortunately, lay-offs and wage cuts by companies trying to remain afloat during the COVID-19 crisis may cause more people to find themselves in this situation.
This is a key time to ensure that clean energy initiatives are part of the stimulus packages. Coupling economic recovery after COVID-19 with sustainable energy projects will create jobs and economic activity, whilst simultaneously looking out for current and future generations, as envisioned by the European Green Deal.
The world has currently pressed 'pause' on the economy, but this does not mean that we should not think about how to couple its recovery with measures to fight energy poverty and create healthier lives for European citizens in the long term.
Policies and projects focusing on the deployment of clean energy and sustainable housing drive growth through continued job creation, including for those most vulnerable to the risk of job exclusion.
Through making Europeans' homes more sustainable, we do not just help citizens abate their energy bills, but we also contribute to their physical and mental wellbeing. Healthier homes have the potential to alleviate pressure on public health systems and aid people in creating a productive environment for working or studying at home - something which has proven to be important during this crisis and which might be an enduring trend long after it's gone. Through building and renovating homes, we have the power to rejuvenate distressed communities, increase residents' health and productivity and create a Europe where every person feels comfortable and empowered at home.
We cannot yet predict what the world will look like after COVID-19 and which economic hardships it may leave in its wake, but so far a certain positive side-effect can already be discerned.
Our natural environment is taking a breather as air pollution levels plummet and water becomes clearer in cities where people commit to self-quarantine. Although these improvements may be rolled back when life returns to normal, this does show that coordinated human activity can have a positive impact on the health of our planet. Let this be our motivation to keep fighting the good fight, even when faced with today's uncertainties.
In the meanwhile, the EuroPACE team is continuing to work towards a sustainable future by developing effective and lasting home renovation programs. We are in this together!
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