A step closer to sustainable homes in Europe: European Parliament supports the EPBD

Posted on 12 March 2024

Today, the European Parliament paved the way for significant reductions of carbon emissions in the EU’s building sector, however the deal falls short of the ambition needed to reach climate neutrality by 2050.
By endorsing the agreement reached during trilogue discussions in December 2023 regarding the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) recast, the Parliament underscores the importance of accelerating the renovation rate of energy-inefficient buildings across the EU's entire building stock. Despite marking progress, the deal comes with shortcomings, leaving it up to the Member States to ensure that the directive effectively supports the targets outlined in the Fit for 55 package.

In a positive development, the agreement introduces essential financial measures, such as Mortgage Portfolio Standards, to urge banks to scale up funding for energy renovations of buildings. However, the voluntary nature of these measures is disappointing.

Mathilde Nonnon, Policy Officer at the WWF European Policy Office commented:
“Achieving our climate objectives cannot happen without extensive home renovations and this demands substantial investments. It is regrettable that mandatory Mortgage Portfolio Standards were not included in the EPBD, as they would have required banks to scale up energy efficiency loans to homeowners, and ensure equal footing among mortgage lenders. The EPBD is an incomplete puzzle and a missed opportunity to mobilise crucial private funding. Nonetheless, the introduction of a delegated act to promote and mainstream green lending practices is a positive step forward. This initiative is essential for enhancing the financial accessibility of home renovations for households.”
The primary aim of the EPBD is to significantly reduce carbon emissions by accelerating the renovation rate of energy-inefficient buildings across the EU's entire building stock.
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