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European green building policy takes key step forward as MEPs vote for strong ambition

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the Industry and Energy Committee (ITRE) yesterday voted to adopt the BENDSTEN report on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), providing Parliament with a strengthened position ahead of negotiating talks with the European Council on the final version of the EPBD.

The ITRE’s adoption of the report is supported by WorldGBC’s Europe Regional Network (ERN) as it will ensure that the contribution of the buildings sector to the overall EU energy efficiency target is maximised through improved national long-term renovation strategies, which will now include milestones and indicators to monitor progress towards 2050 targets.

The inclusion of a vision for a Nearly Zero Energy Building Stock by 2050 which calls for buildings to  become as energy efficient as possible, with maximum renewable energy supply, is particularly welcome as it will help accelerate WorldGBC’s goal to make all buildings net zero carbon by 2050.

MEPs also voted for building renovation passports (BRPs) – guides that outlines relevant measures and renovations that would improve the energy performance of a specific building. These could include trigger points to ensure that renovations happen at the most appropriate time in the lifespan of a building.

Green Building Councils (GBCs) across Europe have long been advocating for a strengthened EPBD, and the urgency within the community on the absolute necessity for strong long-term national renovation strategies aligned towards 2050 goals was made clear through the BUILD UPON project. BUILD UPON was a project which saw 13 GBCs work with their governments to deliver strong and robust national renovation strategies to unlock the energy savings their buildings.

The final version of the EPBD will only be adopted once ‘trilogue’ discussions are concluded. Trilogue is the process by which the European Commission, Parliament and Council negotiate on the basis of their respective positions. The European Council adopted their position in June. A final position on the EPBD is expected in December.

Read WorldGBC’s European Regional Network’s position paper.