Simplistic solutions to complex problems will not solve climate change - NFB

Posted On: 
11th December 2018

NFB have responded to Lord Stunell.

Lord Stunell has said that the United Kingdom must switch to low-emission homes if it is to meet its legal obligations to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Citing the closure of the Green Deal, a home improvement loan where repayments were paid through energy bills, and the termination of the zero carbon housing policy, Lord Stunell is recommending the introduction of new planning standards which would ‘ensure that all houses are built with climate change in mind and oblige housebuilders to update old stock.

Lord Stunell: The switch to low-emission homes is long overdue

The Liberal Democrat peer also criticised the Government’s poor record on preventing on-shore windfarms, slashing solar power subsidies and supporting fracking.

While the NFB agrees with Lord Stunell that much more must be done to meet the UK’s legal obligations on greenhouse gas emissions, his suggestion that we should oblige housebuilders to do so is simplistic and ill-informed.

The planning system already mandates many obligations, which have contributed to a rise in building costs and house prices. This in turn prevents developers from investing in even more proven renewable technology, especially if they are also providing affordable housing.

This was not helped by the green deal, which led by consumers looking for the best price, did not standardise quality while cutting the price of renewable technology but did, due to poor implementation, create workmanship complications in older homes.

New homes are very energy efficient with many housebuilders now providing homeowner guidance on tackling overheating and improving air quality. These homes also go through much more rigorous energy efficiency testing than old homes.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “Climate change is a serious concern and house builders are leading the way in delivering a product fit for modern Britain. They want to do more but they already face a landslide of costly and delay ridden obligations which most politicians don’t even realise exist.”

“Reforming planning is a priority but rather than reforming it to make homes more expensive, we should seek to make it as efficient as new build homes.”