Talking about global warming on what looks to be the coldest spring day of the decade may not be the best timing so I’ll keep this short.
Housing (building, maintaining and operating) creates more CO2 than industry and transport combined. In fact it makes up nearly 50% of the UK’s emissions. There is some imaginative and innovative thinking to combat this. Some new eco houses are beginning to achieve the status of being passive – they use no fossil fuels to operate them. But take a look out of the window and I suspect you won’t see any. Most houses in the UK are old and have plenty of life left in them. Even if we were to make all new-build houses passive (which we are not doing) it would probably be a hundred years or more before they became a sufficient proportion of our housing stock to make a significant difference to our CO2 emissions. We need to improve the environmental performance of the existing housing stock too.
Tonight I am addressing The Parliamentary Labour Housing Group on this very subject. My paper has recently been published in the LHG/CHPA/SERA booklet “Blueprints for Green Homes” you can download it here. http://www.emptyhomes.com/resources/goodpractice/publications/Blueprints%20for%20Green%20Homes.pdf