The EU’s controversial green buildings law risks failing at the finish line

(EurActiv, 11 Mar 2024) The EU’s controversial green buildings law will be voted on in the European Parliament on Tuesday (12 March), but its adoption is far from guaranteed, given opposition from German centre-right lawmakers.

Europe’s more than 100 million buildings consume a third of the bloc’s energy and account for a third of CO2 emissions. Aside from switching to cleaner heating, the EU hopes to boost renovations through a new law, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

But as the vote draws nearer, stakeholders have become nervous about the outcome of the vote as some have perceived the directive as overly zealous and emblematic of Brussels’ overreach, something that saw the text significantly watered down during the negotiation stage.

When German centre-right lawmakers (CDU-CSU/EPP), like Christian Ehler, abandoned the law in a preparatory vote in January (laws are first adopted in the specialist committee before being put to the plenary), their fears intensified.

Should they convince the rest of the EPP party, the law would fail. Without the centre-right, a majority would be out of reach, given that the directive is unpopular with the nationalist ECR, far-right ID, and parts of the centre-left S&D.

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EurActiv, 11 Mar 2024: The EU’s controversial green buildings law risks failing at the finish line