Representatives of national and European institutions today discussed the revised draft of the European Union directive on the energy performance of buildings, which will be submitted to the vote of the Industry, Research and Energy (Itre) commission of the European Parliament on 9 February. The conference, entitled "The EU directive on the energy efficiency of homes and policies on expanded real estate in Italy", was held at the European Experience space in Rome and was inaugurated by the Minister for European Affairs, the South, the cohesion policies and the Pnrr, Raffaele Fitto. The minister illustrated the role of the real estate sector in the ecological transition process, which has clearly accelerated with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the persistent spread of Covid-19. The revision of the directive, proposed by the European Commission as part of the "Fit for 55" project, proposes ambitious objectives: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 per cent by 55 compared to 1990 levels, in order to then achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. A fundamental contribution to energy saving will have to come from buildings, which represent 36 per cent of emissions and 40 per cent of consumption. Revision in particular, it provides for zero emissions in new buildings by 2030, a term that is extended to 2050 for existing ones. Intermediate goals are envisaged for residential properties: to achieve energy class E by 2030 January 2033 and class D by XNUMX January XNUMX.
Timings, these, which cause discussion especially in Italy, which has a residential park - mostly old - of 12,2 million buildings, with millions to be renovated over a few years. As highlighted by Fitto, the real estate decarbonisation plan will have to "dialogue" with RepowerEu and take into account the "peculiarities" of the Italian panorama. “A state like ours – underlined the Minister for European Affairs – cannot tackle the problem of energy efficiency in buildings like other countries” and, among the factors to consider, there are also the increases in raw materials. Approach shared by the Minister of Environment and Energy Security, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, who speaking via video link to the debate, emphasized the specificity of the Italian panorama: “The directive on the 'green house' must certainly be amended to adapt it to the Italian context, which is different and special compared to the European one. The drive for technological innovation must be exploited. The government is clear about the needs of the country and will defend them without setbacks, not imposing onerous work on private individuals. Italy is ancient, precious and fragile, and we must preserve it in the best possible way for future generations”.
As recalled by the permanent representative of Italy to the European Union, Ambassador Piero Benassi, the European directive provides for some exceptions to real estate efficiency, which applies to historic buildings with a high architectural value or to structures dedicated to security. The member states of the bloc also have "the faculty to establish a strategy for the decarbonisation of real estate", which must in any case be pursued in a "realistic and sustainable" way. The Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security will also be supported by the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), which will provide useful analyzes and estimates for Italy in the decarbonisation process. As noted by the president of the agency, Gilberto Dialuce, the interventions designed to guarantee the sustainability of the buildings are in fact of "important proportions from all points of view".
An invitation to caution on the issue of optimizing the energy performance of buildings also comes from the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, according to whom Italy intends to negotiate "realistic" objectives and implementation methods that do not endanger further our businesses and families”. Although "the country is aware that in this moment of ecological transition the real estate sector is also called to do its part, the government chaired by Giorgia Meloni has reiterated in all circumstances that it is necessary to operate within a framework of reasonable environmentalism", he in fact clarified the minister. The appeal of the Undersecretary of the Prime Minister was more vigorous, Alexander Morelli, according to which the path of energy efficiency to be undertaken in Europe "must be that of common sense, both as regards real estate and in relation to engines". "Being the owner of a first home in Italy has a meaning, it is a peculiar aspect of our culture that has deep roots", Morelli said, warning that the choices that are arriving from Brussels "risk of being punitive". "Italy - he underlined - is not opposed to a path to improve energy efficiency, but it must be a path that rewards our real estate stock".
The vice president of the Senate also expressed his opinion on the issue of energy efficiency, Maurizio Gasparri, which emphasized above all the "colossal" burden of the interventions. The directive "must not frighten or depreciate our assets", said Gasparri, who recalled the motion presented by Forza Italia to the Chamber and the Senate on the issue of energy efficiency in buildings. The text, he underlined, asks the government to "represent Italy's peculiarities in negotiations, so that the country is allowed to have the flexibility" necessary to achieve the sustainability objectives. In fact, according to the vice president, there cannot be "a tax on progress" and a discussion on costs and a related incentive system must be started.
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