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Scepticism over Welsh 'zero-carbon by 2011' target

The Welsh Assembly's ambitious target of all new buildings having zero-carbon levels by 2011 has been met with some scepticism.

The move is part of the Assembly's strategy for dealing with climate change, and comes after environment minister Carwyn Jones' announcement to devolve responsibility for building regulations from the UK government.

Jones said: 'We will be opening discussions with the UK government on the devolution of the building regulations, which would allow us to set out a standard framework, including zero carbon, for all buildings, whatever their source of funding, which will be tailor-made for Wales.

'Once these regulations are devolved, it will allow us to move further and faster on achieving zero carbon on all new buildings in Wales.'

But some onlookers believe the target, although commendable, is too ambitious and most likely unachievable.

Richard Parnaby, of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales said: 'It is an ambitious target, and it may well be unachievable, but I suppose that's what targets should be.

'I think they will have serious difficulty reaching those targets by 2011, but the Assembly has to put its neck on the block with things like this.'

by Richard Vaughan

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