As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms that humans are to blame for climate change a new report, ‘Hothouses’, from Green MEP Jean Lambert has today warned that ‘without a radical rethink over the UK’s housing emissions we will fail to meet targets and combat climate change’.
Jean, who is Green MEP for London where emissions from the domestic sector account for 37%, higher than levels from transport and the greatest level of any English region, said that Government policies and initiatives to reduce such emissions simply were not robust enough.
Calling on the UK Government for more joined up thinking and leadership to apply best practice from elsewhere in the EU, Jean said; “Energy use in and by homes across the UK amount to about 30% of our carbon emissions but this could be reduced by a minimum of 60% by 2050 or earlier if the right energy saving policies are applied. The mechanisms in place to increase insulation and other forms of domestic energy savings however, are simply not fit for the purpose and will not make the required impact.
“With different Government departments and other agencies delivering a range of schemes, working to different standards, there is a lack of co-ordination. What we need to see is higher targets and expectations for Decent Homes, Warm Front and other Government run schemes.”
This summer the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive comes into force in the UK with the potential to reduce emissions by requiring all homes that are sold or rented to be energy rated in a similar way to that of fridges and other white goods.
To make the directive a success one of the 27 recommendations from Jean Lambert’s new report is to ensure the public can access consistent information, funding and advice on energy efficiency through ‘one stop shops’.
Jean continued; “If we deal with energy-inefficient homes through extensive insulation programmes we can also combat fuel poverty which has doubled since 2003. By making homes both comfortable and sustainable we can tackle climate change and meet a social need.
“The urgency demanded by the threat of climate change and the problem of fuel poverty however requires a greater and more focused commitment to drive this agenda forward.”