Welsh building charter targets fast-track emissions reduction

Wales has launched a green building charter to speed progress towards low or zero net carbon emissions.

More than 40 leading organisations, including the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), the Design Commission for Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government, signed the charter in Cardiff this week.

Welsh environment, sustainability and housing minister Jane Davidson and SDC chairman Jonathon Porritt launched the initiative at the built environment and climate change summit.

The coalition will contribute towards the Welsh target of three per cent annual reductions in emissions from 2011 onwards. The assembly has also stated the aspiration that from 2011 all new buildings must be zero carbon in relation to space heating, hot water and lighting.

Davidson said: "The built environment is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases in Wales. The way we construct and use our homes and other buildings accounts for 40 per cent of our total carbon emissions. It is vital that all our new buildings are as energy-efficient and as green as possible."

Porritt commented: "It is very heartening to see that Wales has the foresight and ambition to accelerate progress towards a sustainable built environment."

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