Upgrading the energy efficiency framework rather than developping an EU ETS for buildings

Upgrading the energy efficiency framework rather than developping an EU ETS for buildings

In its regulatory work to reduce the CO2 emissions resulting from the building energy consumption, the European Commission should focus short-term efforts on a major upgrade of the existing policy and legal framework rather than in setting up a carbon trading system for buildings, says the building glass industry.

To Glass for Europe the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) are the backbone of the European union policy for energy efficiency in buildings. These policy instruments have proven very effective for making new constructions compatible with the climate-neutrality objective. However, the directives fell short in triggering building renovation and use of high-performance glazing.

The publication of the EU “Renovation Wave” has the merit to provide a clear picture of the challenges ahead. The European Commission now needs to come forward with regulatory proposals that go beyond the mere suggestions of the Renovation Wave communication. To double the building renovation rate and increase the performance of products installed in its buildings, it needs to review both the EED and EPBD applying the same ambition and unequivocal binding requirements to renovation as for new buildings.

Shall the introduction of an EU ETS for buildings be investigated further, the European Commission should carefully assess all the potential impacts. Among the several critical elements to be considered are how to strictly limit the scope and impacts to buildings’ energy consumption for heating, how would a new scheme ensure a socially acceptable price to CO2 and how would it add value to the existing regulatory framework, for instance by allocating its revenues entirely for buildings’ renovation.

To know more read EED & EPBD reviews: Activating the Renovation Wave to meet the EU’s climate ambition

To know more read An EU ETS mechanism for buildings: Priority to fixing the EED and EPBD