EPBD Recast: New provisions need sharpening to hit climate targets

This policy briefing takes a critical look at the European Commission's December 15th proposal for a revised European Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). While many new tools are introduced, the recast proposal does not yet reflect the crucial role the EPBD should play within the Fit for 55 package.

In December 2021, the European Commission published its proposal for revising the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). This revision is a full recast, with many provisions either introduced or modified and covering a broad set of issues. This paper provides a high-level assessment of the main provisions of the EPBD recast proposal, benchmarking the potential impact of the Directive compared to its announced 2050 vision for the building stock, as well as the expected contribution to the 2030 climate target. For a full set of recommendations from BPIE on the EPBD revision, please refer to this earlier policy paper.

Overall, the recast proposal does not yet reflect the crucial role the EPBD should play within the Fit for 55 Package. While it is welcome that many provisions are either introduced or open for modification, they will not deliver on the Directive’s objectives if the ambition is not set at the right level, and if measures are not made more stringent and coherent. With the legislative process starting, there is an opportunity to ensure the final Directive is improved and fully aligned with the EU climate and energy efficiency objectives.

Considering the next EPBD revision is not planned until the end of 2027, the time to upgrade the EU building renovation policy is now if the EU is to achieve its 2030 and 2050 climate targets in a socially just way. The urgency to implement comprehensive measures to slow down climate change makes this third decade of the 21st century a make-or-break decade for the transformation towards a truly sustainable society. This opportunity cannot be missed.

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