Legal scoping on decarbonisation of buildings


With about 40% of EU’s total energy consumption, and 36% of the EU’s GHG emissions from energy,[1] the building sector is one of the key areas in which efforts need to be made to achieve decarbonisation targets and improve our energy independence. The issue is important amongst other for its social/energy justice and right to life components, including tackling energy poverty and accessing decent housing, which could be (partially) addressed through the same policies. Solutions are multiple and include the implementation of energy efficiency measures such as renovation, the electrification of heating/cooling/cooking, and demand response mechanisms.

The importance of decarbonising the building sector has been recognised in multiple policy documents at EU and MS levels, such as the Renovation Wave Strategy and the recent REPowerEU Communication, whilst many think tanks and organisations have recently released policy documents on the topic and its relevance to energy security. Increased targets and stronger requirements are also being included in several pieces of legislation currently under revision, such as the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Ecodesign Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive.

This notwithstanding, legal and practical barriers to energy efficiency measures for the decarbonisation of buildings still remain. Therefore, ClientEarth would like to hire an external consultant to scope opportunities for legal intervention(s) at national and/or EU level that could help accelerate the decarbonisation of the building sector. This will be a high level scoping exercise. A more in-depth legal research on identified potential cases will be carried out at a second stage.

  • Expertise and/or practical experience on issues of energy efficiency in buildings such as decarbonisation of heating/cooling/cooking. The consultant should focus primarily on residential buildings, and on public buildings at a second level.
  • Good knowledge and network among the EU/national stakeholders’ landscape in relation to the relevant topics
  • Legal background strongly desired
  • Identify main (legal) issues and obstacles to the effective decarbonisation of buildings at EU and national level.
  • Identify avenues for potential legal intervention (at high level), including a selection of the most relevant countries in which to intervene.
  • Identify relevant stakeholders in the building sector at both national and EU levels and organise bilateral or collective consultations with them.
Timeframe and deliverable

The consultancy should start as soon as possible. A final scoping report should be submitted by 30 July 2022.

We suggest the following milestones to the final product of this consultancy (to be adapted to the consultant’s availability):

  1. First discussion to determine the final scope of the report: 27 May 2022
  2. First draft: 17 June 2022
  3. Second draft: 15 July 2022
  4. Final draft: 12 August 2022
  5. Final report delivered: 29 August 2022
How to apply

Send your CV and a short concept note to Eleni Diamantopoulou ( and Alexia Falisse ( before 10 June 2022.

Unfortunately we don't have any consultancy opportunities available at the moment.