With over 140 countries adopting the Paris Agreement the ONS have release visuals on why the Paris climate change summit matters. The pact is the first to commit all countries to cut carbon emissions, to attempt to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2C. The agreement is partly legally binding and partly voluntary. Prior to the announcement of the Paris agreement leaders of more than 50 Labour-run councils made pledges to eradicate carbon emissions in their areas by 2050.

The Committee on Climate Change launched its five-year review requiring the UK to achieve emission cuts of 57% by 2032. This will require substantial new investment in renewable energy and other low-carbon power, and new projects such as carbon capture and storage plants. Lord Deben, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change warns: “We are in danger of building houses that have to be retrofitted, which would be very expensive”

At the end of November the Green Alliance hosted a panel debate asking which energy technologies will be the winners in the low carbon transition? The Sustainability & the Built Environment Top 500 has been published by SustMeme and The Daily Mail report on potentially Britain’s most energy efficient home, that costs just £15 a year to run. Learn more about Zero Energy Buildings from the ‘cost optimal methodology’. And it has been announced that CEEQUAL is to merge with BREEAM signalling the creation of one sustainability standard for civil engineering and infrastructure projects in the UK and around the world.

An increase in VAT – from 5% to 20% for renewables is on the cards under new proposals from the Government. Solar panels, wind and ocean hydro turbines could all be subject to this increase. Another blow for this sector.

Archie Wallace in his blog is critical of George Osbornes spending review and the derailment of ECO. The Energy Company Obligation funds a range of measures from solid wall insulation, loft and cavity insulation to replacement boilers for the fuel poor and Archie calls for ECO (or its successor) to be used to make the greatest difference to those who need support most — the fuel poor.

With only weeks until Ecobuild the big innovation pitch returns and the final programme is announced.

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