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George’s latest rant

by mel starrs on March 21, 2007

in Uncategorized

George Monbiot

George Monbiot’s off on one again in the Guardian here:

Her (Ruth Kelly) planning statement on climate change, published the same day, banned local authorities from setting higher energy efficiency standards for homes than national building regulations require.

The PPS supplement in question is here.  Consultation is now over, but the ACE (not that ACE, but this ACE) have posted their detailed response here (pdf, 35 pages).  Their key points are as follows:

  • it gives a steer from DCLG that achieving greater quantities of development is more important than tackling climate change
  • it changes the energy efficiency parts of Building Regulations from being a minimum standard to now being the maximum standard, preventing the widespread implementation in private housing of the Government’s own Code for Sustainable Homes
  • it stops councils from requiring that all new development in their area has energy efficiency standards above current Building Regulations
  • it lets developers subtract any carbon savings, from using onsite renewable energy or district CHP, from the total carbon emissions required under Building Regulations – a reversal of a key principle of the “Merton Rule”
  • it prevents councils from banning high-carbon embodied building materials in new construction
  • it will force councils to drop existing successful policies which cut carbon emissions in new and existing development
    and
  • it is so weak on engaging private developers that it makes it unlikely that any district CHP schemes will be expanded because of it.

The rest of the consultation responses will be published by DCLG on 8th June 2007.