"This is a rare opportunity to have a visible impact on the lives of Europeans", who "find themselves trapped in houses with cold drafts, with exorbitant energy bills", summed up the rapporteur on Monday. text, Irish MEP Ciaran Cuffe (Greens).
Meeting in Strasbourg, the parliamentarians will adopt their position at midday on the legislative project unveiled in December 2021 by the European Commission to improve the energy performance of buildings, the latter representing 36% of the greenhouse gas emissions of the European Union. EU.
MEPs should agree to speed up the proposed timetable in all directions, according to the compromise reached in early February by the main political groups and which should be ratified on Tuesday.
The agreement between the EPP (right), S&D (socialists), Renew (liberals) and the Greens provides that from 2028 (the Commission proposed 2030), all new buildings will be carbon neutral, thanks to moderate consumption and heating with carbon-free energy.
Above all, it intends to tackle old housing through renovations, so that all housing reaches class E by 2030 then D in 2033 on the energy performance scale, a target respectively set for 2027 and 2030 for non-residential buildings. (on this scale, the letter G designates thermal colanders).
This is much more ambitious than what the Commission proposed (at least class F for housing in 2030, then E in 2033), and much more restrictive than the position adopted in October by the Member States.
The Twenty-Seven had taken up the objective of new "zero emission" buildings by 2030, but without approving the energy class requirements for existing buildings, judging this criterion to vary too much from one country to another and proposing instead a threshold maximum energy consumption per m2.
Even if six countries, including France and Germany, had called for “substantially” raising the requirements, the talks between States and MEPs could prove to be complicated.
"Fair and realistic"
Certainly, the parliamentary project recognizes the lack of European harmonization and the variety of the building stock depending on the country, but proposes to remedy this that the letter G corresponds de facto to the 15% of the least efficient buildings in the stock of each State.
Finally, it provides for the prohibition of fossil fuel heating systems by 2035, and the obligation by 2028 for all new buildings to be equipped with solar panels when it is "technically and economically feasible".
Each state will freely decide on the incentives, restrictions and sanctions to achieve the objectives, but "the national renovation plans must include support programs (...) provide for a substantial premium for major renovations, and targeted subsidies for vulnerable households “, underlined in February the parliamentary committee in charge of the file.
The text "will reduce carbon emissions but also energy bills, reduce our dependence on imported hydrocarbons, it will stimulate employment and industry (...) It is a fair and realistic plan", pleaded Mr. Cuff.
His compatriot Sean Kelly (EPP) called for the text to be voted on, "a key tool for our decarbonization", against dissenting voices in his own group, who denounce its cost for households and its uncertain effectiveness.
However, "it is essential that the States have enough flexibility to guarantee the financial efficiency of the renovations", insisted Mr. Kelly. A "flexibility for the residential" also defended by Renew.
The parliamentary compromise thus allows the States "to adjust the new objectives for a limited number of buildings according to the economic and technical feasibility of the renovations and the availability of labour". Public social housing may be exempt "if the renovations lead to rent increases that are not offset by lower energy bills".
Environmental NGOs welcome Parliament's ambition. But worry about derogations likely to undermine the text.
They also denounce a provision adopted in parliamentary committee paving the way for the installation of "hybrid boilers" powered in part by "green" fuels (hydrogen, biofuels, etc.). A "lifeline" for heating with fossil fuels, protested the European Environmental Bureau.