Dutch say 'niet'

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The Dutch government has called for renegotiation of the new European Union (eu) buildings energy efficiency rules. This challenges eu's legal procedures and undermines the implementation of one of its key policies on climate change. The Dutch government said that due to "high administrative costs" of implementing the directive, the cabinet has decided against doing so "in the short term". And that it would also contact the European Commission (ec) to see if the law could be adapted.

The energy performance of buildings directive (epbd), was passed in 2002. But member states have time till January 4, 2006, to transpose it into a national law. Together with energy certificates for buildings it requires regular inspections of heating and air conditioning systems and sets standards for a building's energy performance.

The full implications of Holland's move are only now sinking in. Why the Dutch government made this u- turn is unclear . There has also been an angry response from Brussels. Europe's growing, energy efficient goods industries, are also incensed at "this scandal".

If the Dutch government maintains its refusal beyond the deadline then the ec will start infringement proceedings, an official said. Until then, however, it can do nothing in a legal sense.

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