The World Green Building Council has submitted a position paper on the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), currently under review by the European Commission.
The paper outlines how a review of the EED can help the EU achieve climate neutrality by 2050 – the main goal of the EU’s Green Deal. WorldGBC recommends that the European Commission acts with urgency to make sure that the building and construction sector is playing its optimal role in delivering EU climate goals.
The EED needs to play its role in tackling the renovation of Europe’s buildings as well as contribute to moving towards a whole lifecycle approach to the built environment, which is responsible for approximately 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in Europe.
Recommendations for EED Review
Our response urges the European Commission to seize the opportunity to tackle energy efficiency in buildings by making changes to Articles 5 and 6 of the Directive. This operational carbon footprint must be addressed first as we move towards a life cycle approach to the built environment. Reporting on lifecycle emissions, via the Level(s) framework, should also be made mandatory where it makes sense for all new public buildings.
Article 5 of the EED, which relates to buildings owned by public bodies, should be revised to make it deliver the renovation of public buildings, while the scope of the article should also extend to all public buildings and not just ‘central’ ones. In committing to this renovation of public buildings, the level of ambition should align with the goals of the Renovation Wave action plan, which aims to renovate 35 million buildings across Europe by 2030.
Article 6, which relates to purchases by public bodies, should also be altered so that it specifies that purchased buildings must have had a Level(s) assessment.
The role of WorldGBC
To tackle the operational carbon impact of the built environment, our European Network is supporting the implementation of robust renovation strategies, encompassing public buildings, through the EU-funded BUILD UPON2 project. The project’s renovation impact framework allows local authorities to measure the environmental, social and economic benefits of renovation schemes, and is being rolled out in municipalities across Europe.
We are also driving the transition towards a lifecycle approach in Europe through the #BuildingLife project, which has brought together a coalition of Green Building Councils. The project is convening a European Leadership Forum to build consensus and steer the direction of an EU Policy Whole Life Carbon Roadmap that will set out how whole life carbon can be integrated into the EU policy framework.