The RIBA is among a group of organisations which have urged MPs to investigate the government’s abandonment of its commitment to a zero-carbon building standard
RIBA policy officer Emilia Plotka has put her name to a letter addressed to Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Committee chairman Angus MacNeil.
The letter, sent two weeks ago but only just published by the committee, said the government’s move will undermine efforts to improve the energy efficiency of new UK buildings.
It said: ‘The backtracking on a world-leading zero carbon policy just before the Climate Change Summit in Paris this December runs counter to the UK’s intention to assert strong leadership on achieving a global agreement on reducing climate warming.
‘The removal of the zero carbon standard runs contrary to recent progress that the UK has made towards sustainable development.’
In July, the government’s productivity plan announced there will now be no requirement for all new domestic and non-domestic buildings to achieve a zero-carbon standard from 2016 and 2019 respectively.
The move flew in the face of advice from the government’s Committee on Climate Change, which recommended in its annual progress report just a week prior to the productivity plan that ‘the zero carbon standard should be implemented without further weakening’.
Other signatories of the letter include Trudi Elliott, chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute and Hugh Ellis, head of policy at the Town and Country Planning Association.