Energy efficiency, cultural heritage valuesand the law–conflictsand potential solutions
Authors: A Christiernsson (1), M Geijer (2) and M Malafry (3)
- Department of Law, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
- Department of Art History, Conservation,Uppsala University, 621 67 Visby, Sweden
- Department of Law, Uppsala University, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
The housing and service sector account for nearly 40 percent of the total energy usage in the European Union (EU). Improving energy efficiency in the building stock is therefore of vital importance to ensure climate goals. However, increasing the energy efficiency of existing buildings can lead to conflicts with other sustainability goals, such as the preservation of cultural heritage values of the built environment. How this conflict is handled in practice will ultimately depend on the design of the legislation and ultimately, the legal system. Not only is legislation on the protection of cultural values necessary, the legal system as a whole must be coherent and without deficits, loop-holes and conflicts contradicting goal fulfillment. Moreover, the norms must be effectively applied and complied with. Results of an interdisciplinary research project assessing the effectiveness of the Swedish legal system in reaching energy goals while preserving heritage values, show that meeting sustainability goals are jeopardized by not applying the law in accordance with the intent of the legislator. This paper elaborates on the deficits identified and how they can be improved in order to handle sustainability conflicts.
Keywords: planning and building law; cultural heritage value; conflicting sustainability goals; energy efficiency; climate