It’s high time to make the EU’s buildings directive fit for 2030 and beyond

(EurActiv, 7 Sep 2021) The make-or-break decade for deep cuts in energy consumption and carbon emissions has already begun, writes Oliver Rapf. Now it’s time to radically revise our legislation, in particular the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), he argues.

Oliver Rapf is executive director of the Buildings Performance Institute Europe.

The recently published report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) signals “a code red for humanity” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The report is the first major review of the science of climate change since 2013, and it comes at a critical moment of heightened public awareness and experience of the real and imminent danger of extreme weather events.

The IPCC scientists are hopeful that if global emissions are halved by 2030 on the way to net-zero by 2050, then we can halt and possibly reverse the rise in temperatures.

In Europe, policymakers have started to take action and the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” proposals released in July mark the beginning of a reform process to align the EU’s laws and policies with its 2030 climate target. However, more needs to be done in the buildings sector.

As it is a major contributor to the bloc’s emissions (40% of the final energy consumption, with fossil fuels providing 80% of the energy), we must make sure that our buildings legislation is fit for purpose and aimed squarely at the 2030 target of more than halving emissions.

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EurActiv, 7 Sep 2021: It’s high time to make the EU’s buildings directive fit for 2030 and beyond