European Parliament: all new buildings to be carbon-neutral by 2028

The European Parliament has given the thumbs-up for all new buildings in the EU to be carbon-neutral by 2028, after the draft revision to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was put to a plenary vote on Monday.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted the revised draft with 343 votes in favour, 216 against and 78 abstentions. 

The main objectives of the EPBD are to substantially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption in the EU building sector by 2030, and to make it climate neutral by 2050. It also aims to increase the rate of renovations of energy-inefficient buildings and improve information on energy performance.

Following Monday’s vote, the revised directive will progress to the last phase of the EU legislative process before being transposed into national law, a process for which member states generally have up to two years. 

In a reaction, the European Council of Shopping Places (ECSP) said it welcomed the outcome of the vote, but noted that more guidance and engagement were needed to achieve the goals set.

‘We recognize the important role that the real estate industry, specifically the retail property sector, has in helping to deliver Europe’s climate ambitions and the need to contribute to a more sustainable future,’ said Peter Wilhelm, chairman of the ECSP.

‘However, for an industry already disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, we need help. From the need for a market-driven approach, to a European Roadmap to 2030 and beyond, harmonised standards to access to public funds, we cannot do this alone. As highlighted in our published position paper, we need more guidance and engagement to better understand how we are going to do this together.’

Specific measures proposed under the revised EPBD include equipping all new buildings with solar technologies by 2028 - where this is technically suitable and economically feasible - while residential buildings undergoing major renovation would have until 2032 to comply.

Residential buildings would have to achieve energy performance of at least class E by 2030, and D by 2033. Non-residential and public buildings would have to achieve the same classes by 2027 and 2030 respectively.


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