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Baroness calls for ‘real zero’ buildings in speech at Patrons lunch

Building services engineers will play a crucial role in delivering the UK’s new zero carbon vision, according to the vice chair of the influential parliamentary Committee for Climate Change (CCC).

Baroness Brown of CambridgeBaroness Brown of Cambridge previewed the committee’s latest advice to government two days before its publication during a speech to the Society of CIBSE Patrons at the House of Lords on 23 April.

She told the gathering of members and guests at the Patrons’ annual lunch that buildings would be a key focus of future government policy because they were responsible for a quarter of the country’s total CO2 emissions.
‘This is an area where we know we can get to ‘real’ zero – not just ‘net’ zero – over the next 30 years,’ she told the Patrons. However, she warned that it would require a major transition ‘as we have the worst insulated homes in Europe and the highest proportion of housing connected to the gas grid’.

In its report, the CCC told the government that a 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions should be legislated ‘as soon as possible’ adding that it could be achieved for the same cost as the measures contained in the Climate Change Act i.e. 1-2% of GDP.

The committee called for major improvements to the insulation and energy efficiency of existing buildings as well as a wholesale shift from fossil fuel-based heating.