Scrolling through my newsfeed this morning, I came across this newsletter at the Financial Times that highlights a worrisome development in Germany:
‘“Germany has decided to shelve stricter energy efficiency rules for new buildings, in the latest example of a volte-face on environmental policy by a government scrambling to kick-start its weakening economy, writes Guy Chazan.”
Context: Germany’s ruling coalition had originally agreed to impose energy efficiency rules dictating that new houses should consume just 40 percent of the energy of a regular new-build. But the plans have angered the construction industry, which is already struggling with high interest rates, expensive materials and excessive bureaucracy.
Economy minister Robert Habeck yesterday announced the new standard would not be introduced in this parliamentary term, which ends in 2025.”
I think this move is shortsighted. Germany, more than many other EU countries, has struggled to wean itself off the cheap Russian gas that propelled its economy through much of the last decades. Moving forward, it would be a mistake to compromise energy independence by making concessions on common sense energy efficiency standards.