This month, EU lawmakers passed a directive on building energy efficiency, mandating hefty renovations for property owners to curb carbon emissions and energy consumption.

The development will be gradual – it will last more than a decade – but property owners who lag behind risk being burdened with assets that can no longer be sold or rented.

The directive aims to compel property owners to undertake large-scale renovations to improve the environmental characteristics of buildings across Europe and ensure that the bloc meets its commitments under the Paris Agreement of Dec. 2015, to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.

Currently, renovations in the EU countries are only reducing annual energy consumption by 1%, according to the European Commission. To meet its climate requirements, the EU says property owners must increase renovation spending by 275 billion euros annually.

The new European law on energy efficiency is likely to impact tens of thousands of buildings across the entire region. By 2033, property owners will need to have renovated one quarter of the largest energy-consuming buildings in the EU, what is more, by 2030, all new buildings must be emissions-free.

In the EU, around 85% of buildings predating 2000 are major energy consumers, relying heavily on fossil fuels for heating and cooling. The EU targets a 60% emissions reduction in this sector by 2030.