EU Parliament agrees position on buildings law despite pushback

(EurActiv, 14 Mar 2023) The European Parliament approved its stance on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) on Tuesday (14 March), setting out a more ambitious position ahead of negotiations with EU countries.

“The EPBD deal is adopted! Huge step forward for lower energy bills, reducing energy poverty, and tackling 36% of EU emissions,” said Ciaran Cuffe, the Green Irish lawmaker in charge of the Parliament’s negotiations on the buildings directive.

Europe’s buildings are responsible for 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of its energy consumption, but renovation rates are well below where they need to reach Europe’s climate goals.

To tackle this, the European Commission proposed updating its building laws in late 2021. According to EU energy chief Kadri Simson, it is “indispensable and urgent to take action” on Europe’s inefficient building stock.

The European Parliament’s position increases ambition, including on renovation rates. It passed with 343 votes in favour, 216 against and 78 abstentions. 

The Parliament’s draft also increases safeguards for renters and flexibilities for EU countries and building owners. “While we’ve increased the ambition level for renovation, we’ve also adopted stronger social protections against disproportionate rent increases or eviction,” said Cuffe.

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EurActiv, 14 Mar 2023: EU Parliament agrees position on buildings law despite pushback