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Government refuses to set zero-carbon targets for non-domestic buildings

Housing minister Caroline Flint refused to set a zero-carbon target for non-domestic buildings at sustainability conference Ecobuild today (27 February).

It had been widely expected that Flint would agree to the target put forward by the UK Green Building Council to make all new buildings zero-carbon by 2020.

But in speech delivered to the conference at Earls Court, London, Flint refused to be drawn on the matter, stating that she 'could not give a specific target' for commercial buildings.

She said: 'We want the industry to be as ambitious as it can be. We will be launching a review into this matter later this year.'

The AJ understands this review will take place in the next two months.

Flint also added that 'the public and private sectors are making huge strides' to make zero-carbon possible.

Meanwhile, Flint announced that ratings against the Code for Sustainable homes will become mandatory from May this year, reaffirming the government's commitment to make all new homes zero-carbon by 2016.

The housing minister also said that just under 60 bids have been receieved for possible locations for the government's proposed eco-towns.

Flint said: 'These towns will be designed around pedestrians, cyclists and people using public transport. Schools will be 10 minutes walk from home, half the households won't be car dependent, and an acre of green space will be mandatory for every 100 homes.

'We are currently assesing the bids we have received. We will then announce a "long" shortlist next month, with the aim to announce the final 10 in the summer.'

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