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EU approves Green House directive. A real expensive disaster



The EU has said yes to the “green house” directive, despite no votes or abstentions. The measure, which imposes minimum performance standards on nonresidential buildings, was adopted in Ecofin despite votes against from Italy and Hungary. The Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden abstained, however.

The “green homes” directive is part of the ambitious Green Deal plan that bears the signature of Commissioner Frans Timmermans, the European Climate Commissioner and Executive Vice President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal. Like all ambitious European plans, it will be a big disaster that will bring social upheaval and chaos.

A softened norm, but yet a disaster

The standard, in its three-year gestation, has undergone many variations, but still there are many onerous actions that states and households will be required to implement, and it will be quite a disaster.

By 2030, all new buildings will have to be zero-emissions; the rest of the building stock will have 20 years to achieve zero emissions by 2050. In addition, member countries will have to take steps to ensure a reduction in the average primary energy used by residential buildings of at least 16 percent by 2030, and at least 20-22 percent by 2035. How this will happen without very heavy building interventions remains a mystery.

At least 55 percent of the energy reduction will be achieved by renovating the most deteriorated buildings, which account for 43 percent of the worst performing residential buildings.

Finally, under the new directive, member states will have to renovate 16% of the worst-performing nonresidential buildings by 2030 and 26% by 2033, adapting minimum energy performance requirements.

Few exemptions

Member countries may decide to exempt specific buildings from the application of the new standards. Beneficiaries of the exemptions may be historic buildings, agricultural buildings, places of worship, or buildings owned by the armed forces. At least we won’t have castles with thermal insulation.

Who pays?

Decarbonizing the building sector will not come at no cost. That’s why states are being asked to do their part through financial support, with special attention to vulnerable households. “Beautiful directive, ambitious, but in the end, who pays—the families, the states, Europe?” commented Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti in explaining our country’s vote against it. “In Italy, we have experience on this case; there have been a few lucky ones who have rebuilt their houses with state money, which belongs to all Italians, and it is an experience that should teach something.

If the Italian superbonus was a disaster, let us remember that it affected not even 4 percent of the Italian building stock. Think of what economically it means to reform a large chunk of Euroopean housing stock. we are talking here about figures in the trillions, about very important portions of European GDP. Who pays for it?

Goodbye to traditional boilers

Energy efficiency also means phasing out traditional boilers, which will disappear completely by 2040. The directive calls for solar energy installations to be preferred in new buildings, public buildings, and existing nonresidential buildings undergoing renovation.

At the same time, sustainable mobility infrastructure will have to be in place, including electric car charging points in or next to buildings, pre-wiring or pipelines to accommodate future infrastructure, and bicycle parking. If cars then catch fire in underground garages, patience.

Now states will have toct

The directive must be signed and published in the Official Journal. Over the next two years, states will have to transpose the provisions of the measure and choose how to implement them within their individual legal systems. Implementing legislation in individual countries will be particularly important. The Commission will review the directive by 2028, in light of experience gained and progress made during its implementation.

A demagogic norm. Citizens will vote elsewhere

European households will have to go tens of thousands of euros in debt to renovate homes according to these rules, and so will the states. All for minimal global CO2 reductions is practically irrelevant, but climate demagoguery wants its sacrifice. It will be up to European voters to get priorities back in line with the next election, that can change majorities.

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