[COREPER Friday 15th December]

Adrian Joyce, Renovate Europe Campaign Director

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At Friday’s COREPER, Member States have the perfect opportunity to place the EU ahead of its competitors on building regulations with the recast of Europe’s cornerstone energy saving legislation: the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

The next opportunity to revise the EU’s buildings legislation is not anticipated for another 10 years, according to the EPBD revision clause, so Member States must take the opportunity now – and they must get it right with a 2050 NZEB vision and strong national renovation strategies!

The truth is that without accelerating energy renovation of the existing stock now, regions like Europe can forget about leading the decarbonisation race including meeting their own climate goals. Thriving EU industries providing efficient building solutions will soon be losing ground to countries like China who this year recorded the largest growth in energy saving investment in world expenditure to date according to the IEA[1].

Yet just when Europe should be leading by example on actions for climate, and their leaders joyfully met in Paris earlier this week to reconfirm their commitments to the Paris Agreement, its Member States have been trying to wriggle their way out of the very measures that would demonstrate their commitment to this end: energy efficiency in buildings.

In this month’s negotiations over recasting the EPBD, they balked at every issue put forth by the European Parliament’s excellent Report that could have demonstrated good foresight – and good faith:

  • a clear and ambitious long-term vision of a “Nearly Zero Energy” building stock by 2050, which is within reach thanks to the already available solutions on the markets and with good planning of renovation works;
  • long-term national renovation strategies equipped with 2030 and 2040 milestones against which to benchmark progress using measurable progress indicators and new policies and actions boosting energy renovation rate and depth in all segments of the building stock;
  • engagement of stakeholders in the full process of developing, implementing and evaluating long-term renovation strategies as they are competent, willing and fully resourced partners with an appetite to fully engage in the process.

The BPIE’s recent ‘Snapshot of National Renovation Strategies’ in 9 Member States reveals that little progress has been made on the ground to develop a strategic approach to both the design and implementation of the Renovation Strategies, a key element which would tangibly set the EU building stock on the path to healthier, more comfortable buildings for all.

At Friday’s COREPER, Member States must remain coherent with the Paris commitments which were reiterated at Tuesday’s One Planet Summit, and ensure that the EPBD sets a long-term forward-thinking vision to boost buildings renovation, local jobs and innovation in the EU.  Failure to do so will leave an open playing field for EU competitors for the next decade.



[1] International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017


Download the One-page statement EPBD COREPER 15 Dec