An Inconvenient Truth for us?

It is sad that at a time when climate change and carbon management in our industry is in the spot light the Lancashire Best Practice Club has had to postpone a sustainability event due to low take up and apparent lack of interest.

Is this typical of our attitude and approach to the whole carbon ‘thing’ within our industry?

Are we, as an industry putting heads into the sand hoping it will blow over like other initiatives?

Anyone watching An Inconvenient Truth (the Al Gore film – which if you haven’t seen – why not? – I understand it is now freely available to all schools to use as part of climate change awareness) and following the media and political debates, (including today’s budget speeches) will realise that our industry will be transformed on the back of climate change agendas.

For example:

The draft climate change bill calls for a 60% reduction in domestic carbon emissions – an enormous challenge – for us as home owners and more so for our industry….

Zero Carbon homes will be the norm -in design, construction and use ….

The Stern Report calls for major innovation and take up of low carbon technologies …

Gordon Brown, addressing the Green Alliance recently called for Britain to be a leader in collaborative sustainability research and technologies …

Today’s budget will give tax credits to domestic mirco generated energy put back into the grid – a shrewd move that will see an increase in mirco generation – changing the way buildings are used ?…

Carbon taxation will increase, with business and personal carbon allowances on the horizon ….

We heard at a recent Lancashire best Practice Club event that local authorities will start to look at the green travel plans of their contractors as part of their procurement process . . .

To meet these demands and challenges for the future we need an industry with the necessary skills and knowledge. Worryingly, we do not seem to have them as yet – as noted by the Construction Excellence Climate Change briefing and the Stern Report itself.

Unless this is addressed, it is higly possible that we will fail in meeting the carbon challenge – and those with the knowledge and technologies will succeed – be they from other regions or abroad.

I hope the sustainability event will be rescheduled soon.

You may be interested in the Think 07 event being held early May – The Think conference and exhibition explores the wider responsibilities of the property and construction industries as we deal with the issues of climate change, urban renewal and redevelopment.

And, on a wonderful clash of dates – Sustainabilitylive! 2007 1-3 May 2007 held at the NEC, Birmingham details here

To finish this post on a positive note – proof that things are happening not to far from home – Housebuilder Bellway claims it has reduced its carbon footprint by more than a third for the 7,117 new homes it sold last year. The housebuilder says it did so by providing renewable energy for its home owners. The firm has also offset some of its CO² emissions by saving trees in Ecuador. Source – Zero Champion blog – see link in the blog roll box on the right.

Looking back to Andrew Platten’s Elevate Carbon Challenge – where are the positive stories in Lancashire?

Leave your comments here – what do you think of the climate change agenda? – do we have our head in the sand on this one? Do you have a positive story?


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