Construction industry demands place on climate change committee

A climate change committee proposed by the government to help it tackle carbon dioxide emissions should include construction industry experts.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), a leading body for construction managers, is calling for industry representatives to be on the Committee on Climate Change put forward in the government's draft Climate Change Bill.

Michael Brown, CIOB deputy chief executive, said: "The government has stated that the construction, occupation and maintenance of buildings account for around 50% of the UK's total CO2 emissions, so it would seem sensible that the industry is well represented on any such committee on climate change."

The committee will be an independent body advising the government on achieving carbon reduction targets and staying with carbon budgets.

The Climate Change Bill, currently under consultation, will make government targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050 and by between 26% and 32% by 2020 legally binding.

It will also introduce five year carbon budgets requiring government to impose legal limits on emissions during five year budget periods beginning from 2008.

Under the proposals the climate change committee will deliver annual reports to parliament on progress towards meeting the targets - to which the government will be required to respond.

David Miliband, environment secretary, has called the bill a "critical part of the equation" in tackling climate change.

Mr Brown welcomed the targets but believes "greater clarity" is needed on how they can be achieved and how performance will be measured.

He also voiced some reservations about the climate change committee.

"There are also still questions that remain about the powers of the committee," he said. "The CIOB supports the establishment of an independent body, as suggested in the bill.

"But we do not believe that the proposals indicated go far enough.

"For true integrity, the committee should be able to regulate the performance of government without political interference."

David Gibbs



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