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Committee of Climate Change sets out objectives

Published by
World Cement,

The first Committee of Climate Change report, under the latest Climate Change Act, sets out key areas for preparing for the impacts of climate change.

Of particular note is the call for a standard to prevent new homes overheating, and promote passive cooling in existing buildings. The Concrete Centre has published guidance on passive and active cooling for new build commercial projects and housing and is keen to work with regulators to help inform how the inherent thermal mass of concrete and masonry buildings can be utilised to reduce overheating.

The Centre is also already working with housebuilders and designers on the issue of overheating, and sharing the latest best practice on how to use thermal mass, ventilation and design to reduce the threat of overheating. As the insulation and airtightness of our homes improves overheating is becoming more of an issue, which will only be exacerbated by the increasing temperatures that we are experiencing now, and are forecast to rise even further.

The Committee for Climate Change also recommends that the government extend funding under the Levy Control Framework so the power sector can invest with a 10 year lead time. The concrete industry can contribute to low carbon energy through the provision of foundations for offshore wind turbines. These are recognised as offering one of the best opportunities for reducing the cost of offshore wind. But for this benefit to be realised, certainty of funding and hence demand is needed to permit the necessary investment to deliver economies of scale.

The concrete industry’s long-term commitment to biodiversity is also relevant to this report, which recommends the preservation and enhancement of the UK’s natural capital.

The materials supply chain for concrete, i.e. cement and aggregates, have an outstanding record in stewardship of the country’s natural capital and restoration following extraction with over 700 Sites of Scientific Interest (SSI) being former sites of minerals extraction. Out of eleven habitats identified by RSPB, mineral sites provide habitats that could meet the targets for nine.

Compared with forestry that negatively impacts biodiversity and adversely affects health of soils for centuries, extraction sites are worked and restored in a period of decades.

Adapted from press release by Joseph Green

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