German politicians, non-governmental organizations, and industry representatives have generally welcomed the second installment of The European Commission’s “Fit for 55” package of energy and climate legislation, but have criticized individual elements and, in some cases, an overall lack of ambition.
According to the NGO Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), the proposal for a new buildings directive is not ambitious enough. By pledging full support for the EU climate package, the new German government coalition ceded responsibility for this instrument to the EU. “It is now even more crucial that the EU urges the member states to act and is actively supported in doing so by the German government,” NABU president Jörg-Andreas Krüger stated.
According to Barbara Metz, deputy managing director of environmental organization DUH, the Commission’s declaration on minimum efficiency criteria for buildings is long overdue. According to Metz, it provides the construction sector with planning security in order to build up trained labor.
Green Party MPs Julia Verlinden and Lisa Badum welcomed the new suggestions, which they believe lay a solid framework for the package to be agreed quickly. “The Commission’s recommendations are consistently and steadily propelling the Green Deal ahead,” they stated.
The proposed guidelines for the unbundling of a future hydrogen network were criticized by Germany’s energy sector advocacy organization BDEW. “They would stymie the transition of the gas system and the transfer of existing valuable assets to a hydrogen system,” BDEW says. Overall, the gas proposals included “significant components” that would allow for a future-oriented adaption of the internal gas market regulations. BDEW criticized the buildings directive, arguing that the technical aspects of implementation should be left to the member states.
The European Commission has unveiled the final pieces of its legislative package – the “Fit for 55 package” – to ensure the EU meets its 2030 climate objective. These included ideas for the role and standards for natural gas and renewable gases, as well as legislative drafts to assure the modernization of energy-efficient buildings. The suggestions will now be debated in the following months by member state governments and the European Parliament.