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Buckingham Liberal Democrats

Combating climate change starts at home.

June 28, 2007 9:08 PM

Combating climate change starts at home. Literally at home, as 27% of the

UK's carbon emissions are produced by the electricity, gas and oil used to

heat, light and power our homes.

This is twice as much carbon dioxide as our cars produce. Cutting green house gases produced by our homes by 60%

(the Government's target by 2050) would cut carbon dioxide emissions more

than taking all the UK's cars off the road.

But that target takes real political will to achieve, not least because three

quarters of the homes standing in 2050 have already been built, and have

people living in them. Although the Government talks of catching up

eventually with the standards our European counterparts are already using to

build new homes, they have no effective plans to reduce emissions from

existing homes.

The package of proposals we are putting forward would reduce carbon

emissions from British homes by more than 60% by 2050. It would ensure

new homes are built to a standard matching that on the continent and

Canada, not in ten years time, but from 2011, and it would initiate a

comprehensive programme of refurbishing existing homes.

The benefits will be threefold. Britain will substantially reduce its carbon

emissions, meeting its international obligations, and helping to stabilise

climate change.

Householders will have lower energy bills, and higher comfort

levels - finally removing the unacceptable blots of fuel poverty and so-called

"excess winter deaths". England will also reduce its dependence in the long

term on fuel from abroad.