UK Bans Gas Heating In New Homes From 2025
By Sofy Robertson
The Chancellor has announced that gas heating for new houses will be banned by 2025, although gas hobs will still be allowed.
In place of gas heating, devices such as heat exchangers will be installed along with “world-leading” insulation standards. (BBC)
This move is part of a bid by Phillip Hammond to address the concerns of children protesting about climate change. Movements such as School Strike for Climate Change and Extinction Rebellion have rapidly been gaining followers with sit-ins, marches and school strikes planned until the government addresses the concerns of the IPCC report. Many of Exeter’s residents and commuters experienced disruption just yesterday due to protests from the Exeter chapter of Extinction Rebellion.
Green activist groups welcomed the measure but said the Chancellor had still not addressed major challenges on the climate.
Groups protesting climate inaction have called for action to cut emissions from traffic, planes and existing draughty homes – which will form the vast majority of the UK’s housing stock for decades.
Mr Hammond has offered an idea they deem inadequate for tackling aviation emissions by consulting on a plan to oblige all airlines to offer passengers the chance to offset their emissions through schemes such as tree planting.
However, these schemes are controversial and Greenpeace has spoken out, saying it would be much better for the government to introduce a tax on frequent fliers.
Speaking on behalf of Greenpeace, Mel Evans said:
“The Chancellor’s rhetoric may have been strong on the environment, but tackling the climate emergency demands much bigger thinking.
“Issues like the shoddy state of our existing housing stock and rapid adoption of electric vehicles require serious money behind serious policies.
“A good start would be banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 (instead of 2040 at present).”
The Chancellor has won praise for appointing the Cambridge Economics Professor Partha Dasgupta to lead a global commission to estimate the global value of nature in economic terms.
It is hoped that this body will influence the governments’ view of nature in the way the Stern review of climate economics in 2006 influenced discussion on climate change globally.
Friends of the Earth’s Dave Simms reacted to measures outlined in yesterday’s Spring Statement, saying:
“Instead of putting climate change at the heart of economic policy-making, the Chancellor is merely fiddling in the margins while the planet burns.
“The nation’s children are calling out for tough action to cut emissions, Mr Hammond must listen harder to the lesson they’re teaching him.”