Letter to the Editor

The following letter was published by The Telegraph on Thursday 15 December 2011
www.telegraph.co.uk

Low-carbon buildings

SIR – George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, claims environmental regulation is a burden and a cost on business. But well-targeted environmental regulation helps British businesses to find energy efficiencies and cost reductions, to develop expertise with export potential and to improve energy security. Such policies are effective in Germany and Switzerland – both weathering the current crisis well.

We are concerned that, in spite of legal commitments to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, recent Government announcements actively discourage the construction and property industries from investing in low-carbon solutions.

These disincentives include ending the recycling of Carbon Reduction Commitment payments into energy-efficiency projects, omitting commercial Display Energy Certificates from the 2011 Energy Act, abrupt changes to feed-in tariff payments, the removal in the Autumn Statement of incentives for energy saving and slowing the pace of carbon reduction to that of the rest of Europe.

Such decisions damage businesses gearing up to deliver low-carbon buildings – the potential loss of 4,500 jobs at Carillion, for example – and undermine industry confidence in the longevity of future carbon-reduction programmes.

The Government must demonstrate its Durban commitments by delivering consistent, credible and integrated policies to make a low-carbon economy a reality.

Robin Nicholson
Convenor, the Edge

Andy Ford
President, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers

Angela Brady
President, Royal Institute of British Architects

Professor Roger Plank
President, Institution of Structural Engineers

Bill Bordass
William Bordass Associates

Paddy Conaghan

Dr Francis Duffy

Simon Foxell
Royal Institute of British Architects

Professor Bill Gething
Royal Institute of British Architects, Sustainability + Architecture

Dave Hampton
The Carbon Coach

Stephen Hill
C2O futureplanners

Mike Hitchens
Pell Frischmann

Professor Paul Jowitt
Heriot Watt University

Francis Li

Richard Lorch
Royal Institute of British Architects, Building Research & Information

Michael Pawlyn
Royal Institute of British Architects, Exploration Architecture & Founding Partner, The Sahara Forest Project

Yasmin Shariff
Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA Council Member & Principal Dennis Sharp Architects

Adam Poole
Buro Happold

Sunand Prasad

Professor Richard Simmons

Simon Smith

Albert Williamson-Taylor

Chris Twinn

Jane Wernick

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