Our MP Damian Hinds recently claimed, with some fanfare, the government’s “ambition to reduce energy demand by 15 per cent by 2030”, in his regular slot in the paper.
According to the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) Renewables 2022 Report, the UK’s Energy Bill does not come anywhere near this target.
For the built environment to come close to meeting the necessary carbon reduction targets that might enable us to stay within 1.50C of warming, existing housing stock must be immediately retrofitted, and far greater reductions in carbon emissions from building and construction achieved.
A total of 27 per cent of all global energy-related carbon emissions come from buildings.
The EIA states energy currently used in our buildings has to rapidly fall by a factor of five and this can be achieved only through thermal insulation, triple glazing, modern heating systems such as PV panels and heat-pumps, and prefab facades.
For us to come close to keeping to 1.50C warming, there needs to be an annual retrofitting rate of 2.5 per cent until 2030. We are way below this at under one per cent.
The report concludes the sector must achieve a 50 per cent cut in direct emissions from current housing stock (heating, cooling, living) and a 60 per cent cut in indirect emissions for new builds (carbon footprint of building fabric, for example cement) in the next eight years.
I feel justified in saying our MPs simply do not understand the sheer scale of the crisis we face and have not the slightest grasp of the immense and urgent changes that need to happen right now, if we want this planet to remain our home.
North Road, Petersfield