New law to decarbonise buildings throughout EU


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The European Parliament in Strasbourg has voted new legislation aimed at eliminating emissions from buildings across the European Union.

Currently, carbon dioxide emissions from buildings contribute to more than a third (36%) of the bloc's total emissions.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) aims to achieve complete decarbonization of EU buildings by the mid-century mark.

Strategies like increased utilization of solar panels and the gradual elimination of fossil fuel usage will be employed to lower building emissions.

Yesterday, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) deliberated on this issue in Strasbourg.

If approved, individual member states will be tasked with implementing the new directive to meet specified targets within a two-year timeframe.

The European Commission estimates an annual investment of over €275 billion will be necessary by 2030 to meet these goals.

However, the new legislation is anticipated to save Europe up to €11 billion annually and reduce gas consumption by up to 44 billion cubic meters per year, equivalent to the volume of Russian gas imported by the EU in the previous year.

EU funding will be provided to support this transition.

Private investment will also be encouraged, with financial institutions urged to introduce additional financing mechanisms such as green mortgages and renovation loans.

While facing significant opposition from some EU governments last year due to concerns about mandatory homeowner renovations, the proposed legislation has been modified.

Rather than mandating individual renovations, the focus of the bill now centers on reducing overall energy consumption in residential buildings.

Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe, who is also the EU's rapporteur for the proposal, said it "prioritises renovation funding for vulnerable groups and enhances renter protections, while setting a clear pathway towards achieving a more efficient building stock in Europe".

"This is what the just transition is about: not only are we not leaving anyone behind, we are bringing everyone with us towards a future with better buildings and a higher quality of life for all."

Seán Kelly, Fine Gael MEP and lead negotiator for the EPP grouping on the directive, said he believes the proposal "on the table now is a balanced and practical agreement that gives member states a very high degree of flexibility to take into account local circumstances and different starting points".

MEPs in Strasbourg approved the proposal by a big majority this afternoon, with 370 votes in favour and 199 votes against.
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And just who is going to pay for this?

People can barely afford electricity as it is!
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