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European framework: New buildings will need to be zero emission by 2028

After the draft revision to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive was put to a plenary vote earlier this week the European Parliament has decided for all new buildings in the EU to be carbon-neutral by 2028.

The European Parliament passed its Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) recast. According to the European Commission, buildings account for approximately 40% of the EU’s total energy consumption and 36% of its CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, three out of four buildings in the EU are still energy inefficient. The EPBD recast represents a comprehensive action plan to renovate the EU’s buildings, bring down energy consumption, reduce building-related emissions and reach a climate neutral European building stock by 2050.

Embodied carbon is estimated to account for 10-25% of the total carbon footprint of buildings. Heavy industries such as cement and steel production account for a large portion of these emissions associated with the construction, renovation, and demolition of buildings.

ECSP welcomes the move to a more sustainable future. ECSP Chairman Peter Wilhelm comments: “We welcome the outcome of the vote. We recognize the important role that the real estate industry, specifically the retail property sector, has in helping to deliver Europe’s climate ambitions and the need to contribute to a more sustainable future. However, for an industry already disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, we need help. From the need for a market-driven approach, to a European Roadmap to 2030 and beyond, harmonized standards to access to public funds, we cannot do this alone. As highlighted in our published position paper, we need more guidance and engagement to better understand how we are going to do this together.”