The plenary of the European Parliament yesterday backed the agreement reached in December between its negotiators and those of the Council. The new legislation forces member states to develop long-term national strategies for the renovation of both public and private buildings, with the aim of cutting their polluting emissions volume between 80% and 85% compared to the 1990 level.
This is the revised directive on energy efficiency of buildings that must now be approved by the Council to then be published in the Official Journal of the EU. This text is the first of eight proposals included in the Clean Energies package, presented by the Commission in November 2016, approved by Parliament at first reading.
The text, which was passed with 546 votes in favour, 35 against and 96 abstentions, notes that the national plans for a “decarbonized” building stock in 2050 should include guidance targets for 2030 and 2040. “Quantifiable progress indicators will be needed to verify compliance with national strategies, ” the European Parliament notes in a statement.
In addition, the directive introduces provisions to boost electric mobility in new buildings and in those subject to renovation, such as the installation of at least one recharging point in buildings with more than ten parking spaces and the installation of cabling for recharging.
It foresees the creation of an “intelligence indicator” to measure the capacity of buildings to improve their operation and their interaction with the system according to the needs of their occupants
It also foresees the creation of a tool, called “intelligence indicator”, to measure the capacity of buildings to improve their operation and their interaction with the system according to the needs of their occupants, thus reducing the use of energy. The European Commission should develop this idea before the end of 2019.
In addition, the approved text stipulates that new buildings, and renovated buildings in which heating systems are replaced, must have automatic devices to regulate the temperature. The rules on inspection of heating and cooling systems are also tightened.
Bendt Bendtsen (PPE, Denmark), rapporteur of the text, considered that the revision of this directive is a clear sign of the commitment with the international objectives of fight against the climate change and of the determination to advance towards the Energy Union. “The construction sector plays a key role. We offer certainty to investors that the renovation of buildings is a priority area, “he added.
It also approved the reduction by 30% by 2030 of emissions from transport, agriculture, buildings and waste and that the CO2 emitted be compensated for by the absorbed by soils and forests.
The European Parliament also approved two other legislative projects yesterday, one concerning the reduction by 30% by 2030 of emissions from transport, agriculture, buildings and waste and another seeking that the CO2 emitted be compensated for by the absorbed by soils and forests.
As for the first project, the overall EU figures will be translated into binding targets at the national level for the sectors not covered by the EU emission trading scheme: agriculture, transport, construction and waste. These sectors are responsible for around 60% of the Union’s greenhouse gas emissions, they note in a separate statement. In the case of Spain, the emissions by these sectors must lower by 26%.
Spain must reduce emissions from the agriculture, transport, construction and waste sectors by 26%
“We have done everything possible to agree on an ambitious regulation, despite the attempts of many governments to undermine that goal,” said Gerben–Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE, Netherlands) rapporteur on the legislation. “Countries must do more, and faster. The response to climate change cannot be postponed, “he added.
On the other hand, Member States will have to ensure that deforestation will be offset by planting trees. In addition, the text includes measures to develop the sector and boost the absorption of emissions by forests, croplands and pastures.
MEPs reinforced the rule by stating that from 2030, the capacity to absorb emissions must exceed the volume of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, in line with the long-term objectives of Paris.
Both texts need the formal approval of the Council before coming into effect.