Irish Green MEP submits legal proposal to decarbonise all EU buildings

3rd June 2022
Ciarán Cuffe MEP delivers a speech at the European Parliament
Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe has submitted a new draft law to the European Parliament that aims to decarbonise all buildings in the European Union

Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe has submitted a new draft law to the European Parliament that aims to decarbonise all buildings in the European Union (EU), both residential and non-residential. MEP Cuffe has developed this law in his capacity as lead negotiator at Parliament for the revision to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The draft law aims to accelerate the phase-out of Europe’s worst performing buildings, while prioritising social safeguards and financial supports for households at risk of energy poverty.

Buildings consume 40% of the EU’s energy and are responsible for 36% of greenhouse gas emissions. Almost 75% of the EU’s building stock is energy inefficient, but only 0.4-1.2% is renovated each year. If adopted at Parliament, the new law submitted by MEP Cuffe will raise standards of new and existing buildings by introducing minimum energy performance standards; expand the use of renewable energies, including through solar energy mandates; accelerate fossil-fuel phase-outs in buildings; and establish a framework to mobilise renovation financing for lower-income households.

Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe said:

“I am really pleased to submit these ambitious changes to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. As an architect and urban planner, I know we can make vast improvements to the energy performance of our buildings to create warmer, safer homes that are better for our planet. I also know we can and must provide better protection for vulnerable families against extreme weather events and volatile energy prices. Finally, in the era of Putin’s murderous war in Ukraine, it is imperative we wean Europe off fossil fuels with the utmost urgency. This law can help us achieve all of this.” 

Green Party Spokesperson for Housing Francis Duffy TD said:

“Ensuring people have warmer homes while lowering their heating bills and carbon emissions is key to our climate ambitions, and the draft law submitted by my colleague will support this process across Europe. Earlier this year, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD launched the Home Energy Upgrade Scheme, which offers grants of up to 80% of home retrofitting costs, from minor work such as insulating attics and walls to deep retrofitting projects. The Climate Action Plan commits to halving our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and improving energy efficiency in buildings is an important step in reaching that target.”

MEP Cuffe is one of only two Green MEPs who holds the position of lead negotiator (or rapporteur) at Parliament on a file in the “Fit for 55” climate package. This package aims to reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. 

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