On the 11th July, 2023, ahead of the first informal European Council to be hosted under the new EU Spanish Presidency in Valladolid, Spain, civil society organisations, social and environmental NGOs, trade unions and academia across Spain signed onto a joint statement demanding the urgent and ambitious approval of the new European Directive on the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (EPBD).

Despite millions of people living in unfit housing, for decades, there has been close to no effort towards developing and implementing inclusive and ambitious EU building policies that could support the energy renovation of Spain’s inefficient buildings.

The second semester of 2023 is the 5th time that Spain assumes the presidency of the Council of Europe. Although it is true that this will occur under a change of government, there is “momentum” for the players in the building sector to promote key and ambitious measures within the revision of the directive on the energy efficiency of buildings, which support a fast and successful negotiation. Spain has the opportunity to play a key role in leading and successfully completing the negotiation of the new EPBD.

This call to action has been endorsed by more than 65 organisations all across Europe as it has the potential to lift millions of Spanish and European households out of energy poverty in the midst of a cost of living crisis and improve the health of all households.

“Es crucial que los nuevos gobernantes de nuestro país apoyen una directiva DirectivaEuropea sobre Edificios ambiciosa y socialmente justa que mejore la eficiencia energética ycalidad de las viviendas de los españoles, redundando en sus salud y bienestar, y quereduzca sus facturas de energía, mejorando su economía doméstica. Si lo hacen,desbloquearán millones en fondos de recuperación que pueden utilizarse para renovar loshogares más ineficientes y con menos para sacar a millones de personas de la pobreza” – Cecilia Foronda, Directora del Departamento de Energía y Personas de ECODES.

 “Adequate and sufficient EU and national funding should be allocated to renovate the worst performing homes for low-income households and decarbonise their heating and cooling needs. This can be achieved through an ambitious and clear regulatory EU framework for buildings that should be implemented with strong social safeguards at national and local level, for the sake of energy and climate justice” –  Mónica Vidal, Renewable Heating Campaigner at CAN Europe.

More information on the event in Spain can be found here.