Support for Climate Change Bill
CIBSE applauds the overwhelming cross-party support given to the Climate Change Bill which has cleared the Commons with a huge majority (463 votes to three). The bill makes the UK the first country to sign up to legally-binding national targets for reducing emissions and commits the government to reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. CIBSE is well aware of the challenge that reducing emissions by 80% presents, just coming to the end of a project to reduce its own carbon emissions from its HQ by 60%.
At the last minute greenhouse gas emissions from aviation and shipping were included following a campaign by backbench MPs and environmental groups such as the Association for the Conservation of Energy. Including transport emissions increases the burden on the buildings sector to deliver cost effective savings.
Bryan Franklin, Chairman of the CIBSE Policy Committee said: “CIBSE has been calling for the inclusion of emissions from aviation and shipping since 2003 but we recognise that this will put even more pressure on the built environment. CIBSE is ensuring that building services engineers are ready to respond by delivering high performing buildings and improving the existing building stock”.
The new Climate Change Committee will advise the Secretary of State on the consequences of including emissions from international aviation and shipping each time it provides a carbon budget. CIBSE has already approached Lord Turner, outgoing Chairman of the Climate Change Committee, to stress the importance of members from the engineering and scientific community on a committee that is dominated by economists and is awaiting the announcement of the new Chairman to start the dialogue anew.
Meanwhile CIBSE’s 100 Hours of Carbon Clean-up Campaign is continuing to inspire organisations to reduce their own carbon emissions – encouraging firms to sign up and pledge 100 hours to dedicate to carbon reduction activities. Museums, football clubs, universities, hospitals, offices and even a Diocese have pledged their commitment.