EU’s contested green buildings law limps towards the finishing line

(EurActiv, 7 Dec 2023) Negotiations on the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) are expected to conclude on Thursday evening (7 December), with EU countries set to dilute a proposed mandate to make renovations mandatory.

Tabled by the European Commission in December 2021, the directive’s key objective was to boost Europe’s flagging renovation rate, starting with the 15% worst-performing buildings in each EU member state.

But following protracted negotiations between the European Parliament and EU countries, little of that ambition remains.

The law’s main lever, setting “minimum energy performance standards” (MEPS) for the worst-performing buildings, was effectively neutered by EU member states and replaced with a less targetted approach based on the average energy consumption of the building stock in each country.

Berlin, which formerly championed a more ambitious buildings directive, has now sided with the least ambitious camp.

“Germany calls for more flexibility for member states on how to achieve their targets as regards residential buildings,” reads a note circulated by the German delegation in Brussels ahead of the final negotiations set for Thursday (7 December).

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EurActiv, 7 Dec 2023: EU’s contested green buildings law limps towards the finishing line