Brown paves way on green housing

All new homes will be "zero carbon" within ten years chancellor Gordon Brown vowed this week.

The DCLG will publish the code for sustainable homes next week. "It is time to set a framework to curb carbon emissions from homes, which make up 30 per cent of emissions," said Brown.

He added that the "vast majority" of zero-carbon homes would be exempt from stamp duty "for a limited period" to accelerate construction. A zero-carbon home is one that is "not a net recipient of electricity from the national grid", a Treasury spokesman added.

The WWF welcomed the move, calling it a "bright green light for sustainable homes". Campaign director Paul King said: "This is a great breakthrough. For the first time Gordon Brown has shown that he really backs green housing development."

Stamp duty exemptions would send a clear signal both to house builders and home buyers that energy-efficient homes are a great investment, he added.

Brown went on to say that air passenger duty would be doubled to £10 for more than 75 per cent of flights from 1 February.

But campaigners against airport expansion expressed doubt that this would make much difference. "What is the point when his support for airport expansion will ensure the biggest growth in the aviation sector for a generation?" lamented Green Party principal speaker Sian Berry.

Brown also announced a feasibility study into carbon capture and storage in the North Sea and more green technology funding.


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