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Europe:
Energy saving & climate protection

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Questions concerning energy and climate policy and the responsible use of limited resources are becoming increasingly important at European level. Although European initiatives aim to improve energy efficiency since the end of the 1980s, a significant new dimension can be observed since 2000 – visible through new directives clearly focusing on climate policy objectives. With the "Lisbon Treaty", European institutions have also received more authority in this area.

In order to achieve their goals in climate protection, the EU particularly relies on the Member States’ legal obligations in addition to financial support initiatives. These obligations are primarily EU directives that require Member States to implement certain provisions within a specified period into national law. Most directives only make an impact through national law -EU directives usually do not directly apply to the citizens.

The most important EU directive for the building sector is the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which in Germany is or will be implemented mainly by the Energy Saving Ordinance.

In addition, other directives are related to energy saving in buildings. Concerning timeframe, scope and content, they do not always perfectly match, so that national implementation is sometimes a challenge for the legislator. This information site offers a selection of the most important EU directives concerning buildings.

In order to support the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive a number of other instruments were established:

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