by Simone Billi

On Feb. 9, the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy approved, after even toughening it, yet another legal abomination of the European Commission: the requirement for all residential buildings to achieve a certain energy class by 2030 to reduce the buildings' environmental impact.

This directive stipulates that by January 1, 2030, all residential buildings should reach at least energy class E; then, after another three years, in 2033, they should reach class D, and be zero-emission by 2050.

Europe's demand would, therefore, mean that member states are required to renovate their building stock; if they fail to do so, penalties could be applied to individual states. There was even an initial proposal that a house could be prevented from being sold or rented if it was not up to energy efficiency standards. For now this scenario seems fortunately to have fallen by the wayside, but nonetheless properties that are not renovated will lose value.

The text of this directive is still under negotiation and will be submitted to the plenary assembly for a vote in a month's time, March 13-16.

According to the research office Gabetti and Abaco Team, more than 50 percent of Italy's real estate stock is more than 45 years old and potentially in need of renovation. Barely 3% of the total sample has undergone significant renovations. Only 34 percent of properties have an Energy Performance Certificate. This is why the directive is shaping up to be a sting for Italian taxpayers, whether they face renovation costs or forgo them because of the burdensome nature of the costs.

Democratic Party secretary candidate Elly Schlein has openly come out in favor of the directive, proving once again how the PD is a party of radical chic, far from the needs of workers, pensioners and the middle class. Giuseppe Conte's 5-Star Movement also called this European proposal an "opportunity" for our country. Proving once again that it is a party far from the real needs of Italians, pursuing the "Citizenship Income" in a crude and boorish way, only for electoral purposes.

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In particular, it should be considered that the carbon footprint of European Union countries is about 6.4 percent of global emissions. China's is 27 percent, the U.S. 11 percent and India 6.6 percent. Scientists warn that without an agreement between Beijing and Washington, it will be difficult to avoid a dangerous spiral of climate change in the coming decades.

Therefore, a substantial decrease in CO2 emissions in Europe alone would not result in a substantial benefit to the global environmental impact, while it would cause enormous damage to our country, putting many Italian families out on the street. Who could we bill for these renovations? To Schlein? To the Democratic Party? To the 5 Stars?

For all these reasons we hope for a rethink in the European Parliament, for a policy closer to the real needs and problems of the peoples of Europe, on labor, employment and development, without purely ideological stances. Without ideological fundamentalism: all fundamentalism harms the cause. With the necessary gradualness.

It is necessary to push greener policies in Europe as well, but doing so with rationality and vision for the future, in the interest of the people of Europe and considering agreements with the major polluting countries globally, in order to have realistic benefits in the interest of the environment.


(Image by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash)

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Congressman elected to the Chamber of Deputies in the Foreign - Europe Circumscription. Group leader of Lega in the Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of the Committee for Italians in the World. He holds a degree in industrial engineering and is an executive in the intellectual property sector.