MEPs will vote later today on proposals to set minimum energy standards for buildings across the EU.
Among the changes, the heating and cooling of new buildings will have to result in zero emissions from 2028 onwards.
The energy rating of existing residential buildings will have to meet a minimum E rating by 2030 and gradually improve from there onwards.
If approved, negotiations to agree on the final text of a directive will begin between the parliament, EU governments and the European Commission.
Flexibility regarding the implementation of these changes and others will be granted to member states in certain circumstances.
Irish Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe has led negotiations on these proposals on behalf of the parliament.
If adopted they will become the parliament’s position.
However, negotiations will then begin with EU governments and the Commission before becoming law.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Cuffe said the proposals will be “transformational”.
Mr Cuffe said the project will cost around €270 billion annually, but there will be EU funds to help countries and major financial players such as the Eurpean Investment Bank and European Central bank, are ready and willing to lend – in some cases at negative interest rates – to governments who can pass it on to householders, he said.
Buildings are responsible for over a third of our emissions, he said.