Energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband has committed the UK to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, in his first statement as secretary for the new department.
The secretary backed the recommendations of Lord Turner’s Climate Change Committee and pledged that the government would make the target binding in law by amending the Climate Change Bill currently in Parliament.
Miliband also said he plans to amend the Energy Bill also currently in Parliament to introduce a “feed in tariff” to support small scale renewables and will make a further announcement soon on encouraging renewable heat.
The setting of an appropriately high target for carbon reductions is an important step and one that we must all support
Dr Andrew Cripps, head of the sustainable and alternative technology team at Buro Happold
In response to the secretary’s pledge, Dr Andrew Cripps, head of the sustainable and alternative technology team at Buro Happold, said: “The setting of an appropriately high target for carbon reductions is an important step and one that we must all support. Setting this target for a time period that is still some way off allows us all the chance to think through, test and implement a range of more radical solutions than a shorter time horizon would have allowed.
“In the buildings sector, to meet our fair share of the target, we will clearly need to address all aspects of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Change Committee rightly point to the wide range of areas to include, both in terms of new buildings and the existing building stock. Although most of the 2050 buildings are already built, there will be a major component of new buildings and the expectation that all buildings will undergo refurbishment over this period, and these opportunities must be taken to increase efficiency. In parallel we must also look for very substantial savings from all energy using appliances in homes and offices to remove electrical demands and cooling loads.”
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