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The EU passed another highly contested climate law. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive was recently passed by a narrow majority after facing substantial opposition. The directive establishes new building standards requiring both the renovation of energy inefficient buildings and new construction standards beginning in 2030. Euractive reports:

“The text, which now enters into EU law, aims to get Europe’s housing stock ready for net zero by 2050, by prescribing the renovation of badly performing public and private buildings. EU countries will be asked to present their plans by 2026 to achieve a 20% to 22% reduction in residential buildings’ energy use by 2035, with 55% of gains coming from the bottom 43% of worst-performing buildings. The rules for public buildings and offices are stricter. By 2030, the bottom 16% of worst-performing buildings must be renovated, and the bottom 26% by 2033.”

The ball is now in the member states’ court as individual countries have until 2026 to develop plans to comply with the directive. While baseline standards for energy efficiency are established, member states may create more stringent standards if they wish. The law is important for companies anticipating new construction in the EU and for the renewables industry which may benefit from requirements such as the mandate for rooftop solar panels. Climate lawmaking in the EU is expected to cool after the summer elections, creating current urgency in pushing forward ESG directives before the change in leadership.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile