Climate change begins at home

April 16, 2007 2:40 PM

Local MP, David Howarth, has backed plans that could save millions of tonnes of carbon emissions.

The Climate Change Starts at Home proposals, launched by the Liberal Democrats today would:

• Set tough new GreenHouse standards for new homes

• Create a system of 'energy mortgages' to encourage energy efficiency improvements on existing homes

• Introduce a 'cap and trade' scheme for energy companies - they will maximise their profits by helping their customers become more energy efficient

David Howarth, MP for Cambridge, commented:

"Housing accounts for a quarter of carbon emissions in the UK. If we are serious about tackling climate change, we need to reduce our household emissions. Improving energy efficiency will also save the average household over £300 each.

"Building regulations in this country are weak and very poorly enforced. 64% of new homes built failed even today's low energy standards. We need to set higher GreenHouse standards so that by 2011 are new homes will not require fossil fuels for space heating. We then need to make sure that these standards are met, through regular spot checks."

David Howarth has sponsored a bill in Parliament which would have given local authorities the power to set high building regulations for their area than the Government. The Local Planning Authorities (Energy and Energy Efficiency) Bill was designed following the watering down of Cambridge City Council's energy efficiency requirements in the Local Plan by Government inspectors.

Mr. Howarth added:

David Howarth and Catherine Smart on Ross Street

David Howarth talks to housing supremo Catherine Smart

"In Cambridge, the City Council is setting high standards in terms of energy efficiency in the houses it controls. Double-glazing was installed on all Council owned housing last year and the Council aims to achieve a leading edge sustainable development on the Council's land on Clay Farm. However with thousands of new homes coming to the Cambridge area, we need to be able to demand equally high standards from private developers. These GreenHouse standards would allow us to do that, they would give Cambridge the low carbon, energy-efficient development it needs."

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