Member States must pay more attention to buildings’ carbon emissions

Eleonora Evi MEP

Ahead of the impending release of the European Commission’s legislative revision of the implementation report on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and this week’s plenary debate and vote on the current Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, MEP Eleonora Evi, co-spokesperson of Europa Verde and the Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur for the EPBD implementation report in the European Parliament, calls on all concerned to take a broader look at its scope and what’s at stake. 

Brussels (Brussels Morning) In order to fulfil our climate obligations, we demand that the EBPD has an opportunity to address the issue of the carbon footprint of our building stock and we urge the European Commission to enable a framework that facilitates the decarbonisation of buildings through staged deep and deep renovation. The EPBD must also focus on reducing emissions by incorporating a life-cycle approach to buildings and implementing strong social safeguards that fight energy poverty.

Unfortunately, in Italy, the press regularly raises the narrative of a bad Europe, claiming that this time it would even put its hands on the houses of Italians.

This is a crucial revision for the implementation of the European Green Deal and the Renovation Wave. To reduce the climate footprint of buildings means fighting one of the biggest causes of emissions in the EU. Buildings in fact are responsible for 36% of CO2 emissions and consume about 40% of the EU’s energy sources.

This review offers a valuable opportunity not only to drastically reduce the climate footprint of our building stock, but also to address the problem of energy poverty, which affects millions of European citizens who cannot afford to heat their homes adequately. The manipulation of this issue by certain members of the press is completely misleading with respect to the core of the problem. And that, put simply, is: the presence in our country of buildings that pollute and waste energy, contributing further to exacerbating the problem of high energy bills.

We should be outraged by these problems and not by the measures that are being  proposed to solve them, which, by the way, are still under discussion. The Recovery Fund’s resources represent a unique opportunity to accelerate the rate of renovation of our building stock. The purpose is to , make our offices more efficient and to cut emissions, thereby exploiting the full potential of green infrastructure and nature-based solutions. Moreover, we should not forget that energy-efficient renovation of buildings not only reduces their environmental impact, but also increases their quality and real estate value.

This is why it is important that the ecological transition starts from here, and that we ignore narrative speculations that once again raise the spectre of a stepmother Europe rather  than focusing on the urgency of the changes to be made and the concrete benefits of these measures, can deliver,  especially for the weakest segments of the population.

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Eleonora Evi is an Italian politician. She has been elected as a member of the European Parliament in 2014 and re-confirmed in 2019. She joined the Greens/EFA group in December 2020 together with her colleagues Rosa D'Amato, Ignazio Corrao and Piernicola Pedicini.