“Even though this directive has lost its potential of contributing to remarkable change, it is still one small step towards the implementation phase at the national level, where the true fight for ambition will take place” – Eva Brardinelli, Buildings Policy Coordinator

During 2023, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) revision was marred by misinformation campaigns at the national level. The Build Better Lives campaign emerged as a response to counterbalance media attacks and to positively shift the narrative. Drawing on the experience of CAN Europe’s long-running Warm Homes 4 All campaign, a robust partnership was built by garnering support from social and housing sector organisations, trade unions, city networks, and youth groups among others.

Friends of the Earth Europe collaborated with CAN Europe to launch the campaign, coordinating efforts across 86 diverse organisations at EU, national, and local levels. Activities included joint statements, social media campaigns, a photo-event stunt, and a video project (which to date had nearly 250,000 views) that supported the “Better Homes for Better Futures” petition. The campaign, with its extensive reach and partnerships, is poised to contribute significantly during the implementation phase of the directive.

CAN Europe carried out strong advocacy actions to support the revision of an ambitious and socially just Buildings Directive, which included social safeguards, an ambitious MEPs framework for Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), and better funding allocation. We used a number of public events and conferences such as European Sustainable Energy Week 2023 and the publication of policy briefings to influence change. Our work has been both fighting against misinformation, and to ensure the directive ultimately contained ambitious requirements, coupled with equally strong enabling elements like financing, technical assistance, and social safeguards.