Carbon Reduction Policies

Posted on 16th November, 2009

Carbon Reduction Policies

Apart for the well-known effects of dumping large quantities of carbon into the atmosphere, we currently consume renewable resources 30 per cent faster than the planet replenishes them.

The UK’s lead on climate-change policy is to be applauded but we are a long way from meeting our targets, along with various governments around the world who adopt (unworkable) piecemeal approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Proposals for zero-carbon buildings are over complicated with arbitrary ‘carbon compliance’ levels (which are not zero carbon) and ‘allowable solutions’ which are bureaucratic and unworkable.

Buildings & Lifestyle:                     Governments must encourage buildings that enable a new way of life – with access to local food, recycling facilities and no cars (at least in densely populated areas). Numerous sustainable communities have been set up to address this challenge. The ideal is not simply about constructing greener buildings, but enabling a way of life which reduces car dependence, provides easy access to local, seasonal food and makes recycling easy. Communal rooftop allotments, biomass boilers for CHP (Combined Heat & Power) on-site composters and community heating systems are all being deployed to tackle carbon reduction.

To achieve effective change, we need elegant solutions and a sensible systems-based approach to zero carbon; for example, recognising electricity as a pooled resource and maybe converting buildings into power stations. Effective land use is as critical as carbon emissions.

Action for Change:     Extensive research on the subject has convinced me that the only way to achieve targets is to tackle sustainability in a holistic way which integrates the built environment, transport and food provision. Buildings are only part of the solution; places and lifestyle are just as important. We as individuals and groups must show governments that we want the changes and governments must provide the incentives for the changes to happen. We can not only express our desire for a healthy planet through our actions, but also by letting the decision makers know what we want.

It is still not too late to let your voice be heard on the forthcoming

UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

(Dec 7th to Dec 18th 2009) 

just go to and




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