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Thursday, November 16, 2006
Going zero-carbon
I wish I had more time to do a proper post on the Stern report and reaction. Luckily a colleague at WorldChanging has done a fantastic article here. But suffice to say it has only fuelled the fire of those who are trying to push zero-carbon development. In particular, publicly funded development is going to have a lot more demanded of it in the next few years.

Ruth Kelly has already committed to developing a timescale, but the WWF is proposing that within five years residential development that is financed by the Housing Corporation, or that uses land supplied by English Partnerships, should be zero carbon.

The WWF argues further that all residential development that receives public finance should be zero carbon within 10 years. This would include the former ODPM’s growth programmes, including the Thames Gateway.

They want these goals to be achieved using the Code for Sustainable Homes. This document, which is due to be finalised by the DCLG next month, will set mandatory standards for public sector residential developments.

John Callcutt, the chief executive of English Partnerships, said he was committed to aiming for zero carbon as soon as possible. He said: “Once it comes out we will immediately start demonstration projects to show we can play a significant role.”

Some interesting stuff also came out last week about how to incentivise owners of existing buildings to upgrade their environmental performance. Building magazine is canvassing the industry to find out what their preferred incentives would be, from stamp duty rebates to tax relief or reduced business rates.


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