European Parliament wants fair, flexible approach to efficient buildings law
(EurActiv, 12 Oct 2023) Building renovations, like those encouraged under the draft Energy Performance of Buildings directive, are key to improving people’s well-being and reducing emissions, but they must be flexible and rolled out with social safeguards, writes Ciarán Cuffe.
Ciarán Cuffe is a Green member of the European Parliament from Ireland. He is the Parliament’s lead negotiator on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
Europe spent €330 billion extra on subsidies to reduce energy bills in 2022. These measures provided much-needed, short-term relief to households across Europe in an energy crisis.
However, this crisis also revealed Europe’s weakest point: our buildings. Over 70% of Europe’s buildings are energy inefficient. Combined, they account for 40% of our energy consumption.
As a result, millions of euros were spent last year on energy that was wasted.
To prevent a repeat of this crisis, and provide long-term protection against the impact of volatile energy prices for European households and businesses, we must make structural changes to reduce the amount of energy we use. That means accelerating Europe’s renovation rates.
Renovations will provide essential protections for our citizens, but they are not cheap nor easy. That’s why this action must be accompanied by the same generosity of spirit and understanding as our response to the energy crisis.