The announcement by Paul Wheelhouse that the Scottish government will work on new regulations to ensure that new homes use renewable or low carbon energy sources for heating is a small but welcome step in the right direction. However, the timescale for action is disappointingly unambitious; the new measures are not planned to be implemented until 2024. Setting a much shorter deadline would send a message to private sector builders and local authorities that ‘climate emergency’ is exactly what it says. In housing, as elsewhere, action needs to be take place on the shortest time lines possible.
Let’s up the pressure for a mass public programme of retrofitting existing houses to be energy efficient. This is a necessary step and in addition the climate jobs and the improvements in living conditions that it would generate would have a massive impact on people’s attitude to the climate emergency and what needs to be done. It would be just transition in practice.
Passive House, Image CC BY SA 3.0