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WorldGBC’s response on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive review

The WorldGBC has submitted feedback to the European Commission for its roadmap for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) review.

Our position paper outlines how the EPBD review can help to deliver the Renovation Wave and help the EU meet its climate goals of carbon neutrality by 2050 and reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

Over 90% of Europe’s building are consuming too much energy and most of them need to be deeply renovated. This inefficiency results in wasted energy, fuel poverty, reduced productivity in schools and offices, and has significant health impacts. By renovating our buildings, we can address these issues and realise the multiple benefits of renovation including the creation of jobs.

WorldGBC recommends that the European Commission take a holistic approach to the EPBD review and delivering the Renovation Wave – one that incorporates both legislative and non-regulatory measures.


Legislative and non-regulatory measures

WorldGBC’s response encourages the Commission to implement the legislative measures designed to deliver the Renovation Wave and outlined in the ‘Option 3 pathway’ of the EPBD review roadmap.

The Renovation Wave action plan released in October 2020 pledged to at least double the EU’s renovation rate by 2030. We encourage the European Commission to go further and use the EPBD review to triple the renovation rate by 2030 and increase renovation depth sixfold.

Key to achieving this will be the phased introduction of Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), mentioned by the Commission in the Option 3 pathway. This has the potential to drive up building standards and encourage a greater uptake of renovation projects. In addition, the Commission must accelerate the availability of data to inform renovation best practice through the deployment of Building Renovation Passports and Digital Building Logbooks, as well as access to private finance through the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy.

We also urge the Commission to use the EPBD review to kickstart the process of tackling the whole-life impact of the built environment by creating a 2050 roadmap for reducing whole life-cycle carbon emissions – as promised in the Renovation Wave action plan.

Our response encourages the European Commission to complement these legislative measures with non-regulatory measures, which are outlined in its ‘Option 2 pathway’. These include technical assistance, information campaigns, training and project financing. This can also translate to a full embrace of the ‘Neighbourhood based approach’ promised by the Commission in its Renovation Wave action plan.


The role of WorldGBC

WorldGBC is deeply committed to supporting the deep renovation of our building stock. Since 2018, we have been deeply involved, through the BUILD UPON² project, in developing local impact frameworks supportive of national long term renovation strategies (LTRS). Cities involved in the project are developing a renovation impact framework which allows local governments to track and quantify the environmental, social and economic benefits of renovation schemes.

Additionally, we have recently launched #BuildingLife, a project bringing together a coalition of Green Building Councils across Europe to drive decarbonisation of the building sector through private sector action and public sector policy. We have convened a group of leaders in our sector 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.


Read the full position paper here.