Low energy new builds and retrofits are key to a sustainable future. Retrofits are economic for the owners, that can be shown through REALcosting software results. Energy efficiency in general is also the way forward worldwide. Climate Change is a challenge which almost every nation recognises and is acting on. The video below on ‘Effective Deep Retrofit: Risk & Rewards’ is a talk by Chris Herring, Green Building Store:
Consequences worth avoiding
In this country the main risks are rising sea levels of 6m in the next century or so, more dangerous storms, flooding and droughts damaging crops. The UK is acting because it recognises the validity of the science. Back in 2006 the Government Stern Review found the cost of action quite small (about 1% of GDP) compared to the cost of damage (potentially 5% with risks up to 20% of GDP).
We now know the risks are higher than that, in July 2017 Schroders issued a warning that we’re on track for future losses could be 50% of GDP. At the 10th anniversary of the Stern review in October 2016 Lord Stern said “Delay is dangerous…..The next 10 years will be absolutely crucial if we are to get on track. There is grave danger of lock-in of emissions. What we do in the next 10 years will determine our progress for the next 20 years”.
The science is overwhelmingly clear (above, from IPCC AR5 technical summary) and in Paris in 2015 195 nations agreed to limit global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial and endeavour to limit it to 1.5 °C. There is plenty of international action, EU member states have a binding target of 40% reduction by 2030, but worldwide action is not even close to reaching the Paris agreement target.
The UK is moving forward but part of the problem is it has a very poor starting point. In one survey (left) it had the highest proportion of people in fuel poverty, a high proportion of household income is spent on energy and many UK houses are often in a poor state of repair compared to other European countries. full article
The UK is currently meeting its first 3 carbon budgets on its way to reducing CO2 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels. The UK won’t currently meet its 4th carbon budget and has been exploring the options. It needs to think ahead to plans which will enable it to meet the 4th Carbon budget and the full 80% reduction. We know from National studies that action is economic for the nation, REALcosting is also showing that it can be economic for the owners too.
A selection of related links
BBC Radio 4 Costing the Earth – Insulation for the Nation.
Hell breaks loose as tundra thaws
It’s OK to talk about how scary climate change is. Really.
Detailed roadmap for meeting Paris Agreement
Petrol and Diesel cars and vans to no longer be for sale by 2040
Fossil fuel subsidies racking up trillions in health costs