The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change forms the basis for international climate policy. It was ratified by 192 nations and entered into force in 1994. The Framework Convention on Climate Change governs international cooperation in research into global warming and the united quest for ways to mitigate climate change and manage its consequences. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol supplements the Framework Convention on Climate Change. It specifies binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for the countries which signed it.

The EU’s current energy and climate programme is rooted in "Europe 2020: a new European strategy for employment and growth". It also includes the EU‘s "20-20-20 targets". For example, they require a 20 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990, reduction of energy consumption by 20 percent and an increase in the percentage of renewable energy in the energy mix to 20 percent by 2020.

On this basis, the European Commission has launched a variety of support programmes: Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE), Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), Eco-innovation and Marco Polo. The COHERENO project is funded as part of IEE.

Among the described EU energy efficiency goals, refurbishment of existing buildings plays a key role, as it offers particularly significant potential energy savings. The recast EU Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD recast) is intended to advance the overall energy efficiency of buildings and building sections. As a result, EU Member States are obliged to specify corresponding minimum requirements for energy efficiency, which are reviewed every five years. The goal of the directive is that as of 01/01/2021, only nearly zero-energy buildings are to be built throughout the EU.