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Mon January 25 2021

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Scottish government dilutes carbon reduction plans

11 Dec 12 The Scottish government is going out to consultation on diluted proposals to improve the energy efficiency of new buildings.

Report author Lynne Sullivan
Report author Lynne Sullivan

New homes could reduce their carbon emissions by approximately 20% and new non-domestic buildings by up to 40% beyond current standards, according to research undertaken by the Scottish government. 

The proposals would reduce carbon emissions for new homes by approximately 75% compared to the standards that existed in 1990 and reduce fuel bills.

The proposals, to be published next month, will seek views on the suggested new levels for emissions reduction and the way to deliver the standards. The intention is to introduce these standards at the beginning of 2014.

The consultation follows the 2007 Sullivan Report – ‘A Low Carbon Building Standards Strategy for Scotland’ – although it will make compromises with regard to straitened economic times to make the targets less expensive to achieve, the government said.

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Planning minister Derek Mackay said: “The Scottish government is committed to reducing Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions and building standards have a vital role to play in this. But in these challenging economic times, it is important to strike a balance between making our buildings greener and increasing the burden on the construction industry.

“These proposals maintain the Scottish government’s commitment to ambitious emissions reductions, but will limit the impact on both industry and on the cost of new homes at this time. Beyond this consultation, we will look at other options for making emissions reductions which are comparable with The Sullivan Report aspirations for new buildings. To assist in this, I intend to reconvene the Sullivan panel next year.”

Lynne Sullivan, who chaired the panel that produced the 2007 report, has been asked to chair the reconvened panel to update its advice.

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