The European Committee of the Regions has unanimously
adopted André Viola's recommendations on the new
proposal for a directive on the energy performance of
On Thursday, the European assembly of local and
regional representatives adopted a series of
recommendations on the new proposal for a European
directive on the energy performance of buildings.
The rapporteur for the opinion is André Viola,
representative of Aude Departmental Council. The
Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is a
cornerstone of the Fit for 55 package, which aims
to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least
55% by 2030.
Buildings account for 40% of final energy consumption
in the Union and 36% of its energy-related greenhouse
gas emissions. The ultimate objective of the new
directive is to decarbonise Europe's building stock by
When presenting the opinion, rapporteur
André Viola (FR/PES)
, Aude Departmental Council's representative to Europe
and president of the French delegation to the European
Committee of the Regions, stressed: "
let's rethink all energy systems, in order to
become more resilient and to tackle energy
insecurity, while achieving our climate targets by
2050. Let's be ambitious about decarbonising the EU
building stock! We need to put in place a
renovation plan that will stand the test of time
and is financially viable for all citizens and
local and regional authorities. The revision of the
directive should focus on the whole life cycle of
buildings and integrate all stages of the circular
economy. It should be noted that the Partnership
Agreement, which provides EUR 18.4 billion in
European funding for France by 2027, makes the
thermal renovation of buildings and housing,
together with support for the households concerned,
a strategic priority. The resources are there,
there is no time to lose with renovating!
The Committee stresses the need to involve local and
regional authorities in the policy-making process
related to the building renovation wave in order to
ensure that the transition takes place at all levels.
Similarly, the European assembly of local and regional
representatives points out that the objectives of the
renovation wave cannot be achieved without specifically
allocating significant resources to local and regional
authorities, including financial envelopes,
capacity-building and technical capacity-building.
The opinion adopted by the Committee calls for the new
Directive on the performance of buildings to be applied
not only to new buildings but also to renovations. The
rapporteur advocates avoiding gradual, unambitious
renovations that are likely to lead to carbon
dependence, and promoting zero-emission renovations
including by minimising demand for energy and
In order to increase synergies between improving the
energy performance of buildings and reducing
pollutants, the Committee advocates an approach that
minimises the demand for materials and promotes the
circular economy by including policies to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of
buildings in national renovation plans.
The European assembly of representatives of local and
regional authorities notes that there is also a need to
promote buildings with a positive impact on the
climate, which in turn should offset the additional
emissions of less efficient buildings.
The opinion adopted by the Committee supported Mr
Viola's proposal to bring forward the elimination of
fossil fuels for heating and cooling to 2025, instead
of 2027 as proposed by the European Commission. The
Committee calls for national policies and measures to
be drawn up in close cooperation with local and
regional authorities. However, even the slightest rise
in costs for tenants must be avoided when renovating
buildings, in particular for citizens who are already
suffering from energy poverty and are most vulnerable
to the persistent rise in energy prices.
In this regard, the Committee points out that the
large-scale renovation of buildings offers an
opportunity to combat energy poverty and to transform
the buildings of vulnerable households and businesses
into positive-energy buildings. It stresses the danger
and the importance of ensuring that renovation wave
does not exacerbate the problems associated with this
issue throughout the European Union. The Committee's
opinion therefore calls on the Commission to put in
place a comprehensive strategy to eradicate energy
poverty in the EU.
As regards renovation passports, the opinion adopted by
the Committee proposes that they be made available to
local and regional authorities, not to building owners
as proposed by the Commission.
The rapporteur also calls on the Commission and Member
States to provide guidance on improving the energy
efficiency of historic buildings and create dedicated
funding schemes for this purpose.
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