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Editorial advisory panel George Adams, engineering director, Spie Matthew Hall Laurence Aston, director, Buro Happold


Annabel Clasby, mechanical building services engineer, Atkins


Patrick Conaghan, partner, Hoare Lea Consulting Engineers Rowan Crowley, director, einside track


David Hughes, building services consultant, MTT Consulting Philip King, director, Hilson Moran


Chani Leahong, senior associate, Fulcrum Consulting Nick Mead, group technical director, Imtech Technical Services


Christopher Pountney, graduate engineer, AECOM


Alan Tulla, president, the Society of Light and Lighting


Ged Tyrrell, managing director, Tyrrell Systems Ant Wilson, director, AECOM Morwenna Wilson, graduate engineer, Arup Terry Wyatt, consultant to Hoare Lea


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ABC audited circulation: 19,139 January to December 2010


The logic of putting green before growth


S


o now we know. Fierce opposition within government to the adoption of tough new targets for cutting UK carbon emissions has been pushed aside – despite that


opposition being led by such heavyweights as Chancellor George Osborne and Business Secretary Vince Cable. They might argue that the new targets could put the nation’s recovery at risk. But it seems that the strong lobbying of David Cameron by environmental campaigners in recent weeks may have pushed the Prime Minister towards accepting the need to sometimes put ‘green’ ahead of ‘growth’ in economic policy. And so he should. The government’s new commitment to


Ministers need to display a commitment to the speedy implementation of key green policies


seek to cut emissions by 50% in 2027 – part of a new ‘fourth carbon budget’ for Britain – is the only logical step forward if the UK is to realistically achieve the long- standing target of an 80% cut by 2050. So far so good. But the actions needed to make these targets a reality could still be undermined by ministerial hostility to key policies – one recent example being the government’s apparent rejection of calls to amend the Energy Bill to include government proposals to extend mandatory Display Energy Certificates to commercial buildings.


This is a lost opportunity to bring such a significant change into force speedily, rather than risk letting its implementation date disappear into the future. Before the announcement of the carbon target for 2027 the


Green Alliance, which represents more than a dozen leading environmental groups, wrote to Cameron to warn against green policies being ‘endlessly debated and watered down’ by ministers. Cameron may rightly respond that the fourth carbon budget shows the government is still on track. But to be truly on target, ministers need to display a commitment to the rapid implementation of key green policies in the built environment. Ministers must also halt the dilution of crucial initiatives,


such as with the recent downgrading of the definition of ‘zero carbon’ new homes. Only then will the government sound sincere in its declared ambition to be the greenest ever.


Bob Cervi, Editor bcervi@cibsejournal.com


www.cibsejournal.com


June 2011 CIBSE Journal


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