January 25 2015 Latest news:
Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Anglian Water has signed up to an international campaign urging governments to take action on carbon emissions.
Britain’s buildings need a “low energy makeover” if the UK is to meet a target to cut carbon emissions by 80pc.
Ian Peck, partner at Bidwells, told delegates at a retrofit conference in Cambridge that there were huge challenges ahead in meeting the target. “To put this into perspective, in order to hit our national carbon reduction target of 80pc by 2050, almost every building in the country will need a low energy makeover,” he said. “That means we have to improve nearly one building every minute.”
The firm has joined 70 companies across the globe in signing the “Trillion Tonne communique” calling on governments to act to prevent the cumulative emission of more than a trillion tonnes of carbon. The UK government is committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80pc by 2050 – spawning a huge rush to develop renewable energy sources and also a renewed interest in reactivating the country’s nuclear power generation.
Closer to home, the government’s domestic renewable heat incentive initiative seeks to offer ‘off grid’ homeowners a financial sweetener to make the switch from oil to renewable energy.
But the communiqué, which is coordinated by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, calls for a “rapid and focused response” to the threat of rising global carbon emissions, and the “disruptive climate impacts” inevitably associated with them. It warned that failure to limit the stock of carbon in the atmosphere would threaten increasingly serious climate impacts.
It also comes against a backdrop of climate change scientists warning of longer and more frequent heatwaves, increased extreme rainfall events, flooding and rising sea levels. The firm believes this will have “real and significant impacts” on economies and societies, particularly in dry areas such as the Anglian Water region with its long coastline, significant areas of land below sea level, and growing population.
Chris Gerrard, Anglian Water’s climate change and biodiversity manager, said: “As a region with a huge coastline and a significant proportion of land below sea level, we’re in the frontline of a changing climate.
“We must take steps to prepare for these eventualities, but we’ll also work tirelessly to reduce our own carbon emissions by developing renewable energy schemes to power our water recycling facilities, and minimising the amount of carbon embedded in our construction projects.”
Aviva will embark on a cost-cutting drive leading to 1,500 job losses if its £5.6bn takeover of Friends Life wins the backing of shareholders.