Just back from the first day of the Think 07 conference. I will post more later this week – but the key thoughts and messages from today :
The Prince of Wales referred to climate change as an emergency and called for immediate action. “Doing nothing is not an option”
The key note was from Al Gore, by live link from New Orleans, who concluded his speech and question time with the statement “so much depends on the choices we make today” – addressing the Think 07 delegates he asked – “do you you have the courage to answer the call?” and finished with a quote from American poet Wallace Stevens ” After the final no, there comes a yes”
He talked about carbon zero mortgages of which Gore is a keen supporter, ie where costs of greening buildings are not included in the construction cost but are met by additional mortgage, government backed, and paid off by the savings derived through the life of the building . Interesting.
At the lunch time Question Time chaired by Sue MacGregor, Tony Bloxham, Urban Splash, put carbon offsetting in its place – “Carbon offsetting is absolute nonsense.” he said “It has nothing to do with sustainability.” Others on the panel including shadow construction minister Mark Prisk backed Bloxham’s criticisms.
So if you are looking to offset – be careful, be very very careful – my motto in my top ten actions was – Dont Offset – Just dont do it that way.
And as to the exhibition area – it was interesting to see three of the leading supermarkets there – Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tescos – all trying to out green each other in a race to have the most carbon friendly and sustainable stores. Their approach to construction will undoubtedly impact on the rest of the industry. Watch this space ….
Follow breaking news and comment from this important conference here – over at Zero Champions blog or on the i-think website