The UK seems to be having a tough time with it's carbon reduction targets of late. Only last week the news was leaked that the government was trying to wriggle out of its commitment to 20% renewable energy by 2020. Now we hear from the BBC that the national government plan's to adopt another renewable target, the so-called 'Merton Rule', is under threat. The Merton rule, which started out as a local initiative in Merton, Greater London, but which has spread to over 150 councils nationwide, stipulates that all major new building developments must find ways to meet 10% of their energy needs through onsite renewables. The government had suggested that it was ready to incorporate the rule into national law, but according to a report on the BBC this is being strongly challenged by house builders:
" the British Property Federation (BPF) has attacked the Merton Rule, saying it effectively 'straitjackets; the building industry. 'There's plenty of other ways you can actually set aspirational targets for producing a built environment that's actually carbon efficient,' BPF chief executive Jackie Peace told the BBC. 'There's lots of ways of incentivising people to behave better. You can incentivise commercial developers to produce greener buildings simply by giving them an accelerated planning process if their buildings tick all the right boxes.'"
Others, however, such as the Royal Institute for British Architects, have come out in support of the rule, arguing that there is a need to stimulate innovation in low carbon technologies. Remember, while governments argue over the details, there's plenty you can do in your own home. Those who are sick of waiting for government action and who are wanting to make changes in their own homes should check out our guide on How to Green Your Electricity. ::BBC::via site visit::