Research Handbooks in Environmental Law series
Edited by Geert Van Calster, Wim Vandenberghe and Leonie Reins
Chapter 8: How do the European Union and the private sector pave the way to more sustainable buildings?
The European Union has adopted a regulatory framework to face the challenge of reducing CO2 from buildings. It is each Member State’s duty to translate this framework into coherent and comprehensive regulations providing clear definitions, quantitative criteria and targets and funding solutions. The implementation of the EU regulation is characterized by a great diversity in the national approaches. The same diversity appears when examining the financial instruments available for supporting the implementation of the European regulation. Diversity can be linked to the most important valuation criteria in the field of real estate: localization. However it makes an effective implementation of the European framework more difficult. Major retrofit of the existing stocks remains a big challenge due to the high up-front capital costs and the need to refine existing financial instruments. In order to face a depreciation of their assets, the real estate sector put in place voluntary mechanisms such as certification systems and green leases. These instruments already pave the way for the further implementation of the European regulatory framework, which continues to strengthen.
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