Sir, In “Doubts grow over zero-carbon energy target” (March 29), you report further complications surrounding the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. These complications put the government’s international sustainability commitments at risk. To meet our targets, perhaps the government should place greater focus on energy efficiency, and not just on energy generation.
Consider that our buildings use approximately 40 per cent of global energy and emit one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2010, David Cameron’s first government inherited the world’s most ambitious zero-carbon building legislation. This legislation helped make the UK a global innovation leader in zero-carbon building design and technology. The prime minister was initially enthusiastic about the green agenda, but the government lost sight of the strategic importance of sustainability, and unfortunately started to water down the ambitious legislation. It then proceeded to scrap it completely in 2015 in the face of strong objections from a broad section of the construction industry.
Rather than focusing narrowly on expensive and risky nuclear power generation, we should restart our trajectory towards an energy-efficient built environment. The cheapest and most sustainable megawatt is the megawatt we never have to make!
Founder and General Manager,
London W1, UK