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Buildings hold the key to meeting carbon targets ...

Buildings hold the key to meeting carbon targets
For the UK to meet its national carbon reduction obligations, Britain's commercial, industrial and public buildings need to improve from an average of an ‘E’ energy rating today to ‘C’ by 2020, and to ‘A’ by 2050, according to a new report: Building the future, today from the Carbon Trust.
The report confirms that an urgent focus on the non-domestic building sector is needed to keep the UK on track to deliver carbon reductions of 80% by 2050. Currently, 18% of the country's emissions can be attributed to the non-domestic building sector and these emissions have remained static for the last 20 years. If the right strategy is followed, the carbon footprint of non-domestic buildings can be reduced by more than one third by 2020 and a net benefit of £4bn can be delivered to the UK economy through energy savings, the report says.
Central to this strategy is the roll out Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to all non-domestic buildings by 2015 to provide transparency of energy performance across the sector.
The Carbon Trust also proposes that all cost-effective energy efficiency measures, such as lighting and heating controls, must be implemented across all 1.8mn non-domestic buildings in the UK within the next ten years. Beyond 2020, more costly measures - such as triple glazing and ground source heat pumps - must become standard in both new and existing buildings, alongside continued decarbonisation of the UK's electricity grid.
New property developments coming to the Mayor of London’s office for approval are cutting their carbon emissions by around a third, whilst tougher targets proposed in the Mayor's draft London plan can raise this even further, a London South Bank University report has found. The report, commissioned by the Greater London Authority, shows the London Plan has been successful in getting developers to go much further than basic requirements under Building Regulations to incorporate sustainable measures and cut carbon. A sample of half of all planning applications which are referred to the Mayor show that carbon savings have been made through energy efficiency measures such as passive heating and lighting, the use of low carbon energy from CHP units and on-site renewable energy.

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