Funding for carbon programme criticised

The announcement by the Government of £30 million of funding for the Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) over the next three years has been criticised by the Chartered Institute of Building. Dave Hampton, CIOB sustainability spokesman and director of Carbon Coach Ltd, says, This funding is welcome, but represents £13 million less than has been spent on the Clear Skies and Major Photovoltaics Demonstration programmes since 2002. Why not add an extra zero or two on the budget? Surely our children are worth it. Establishing a low-carbon built infrastructure is likely to be the best investment UK Plc could ever make. ‘With the public becoming more aware of the massive indirect or “external” costs of fossil-fuel dependence — both the cost of the oil and the costs of the CO2 emissions — the budget for schemes like this could justifiably be £3 billion, not £30 million.’ This scheme takes over from the current DTI Clear Skies and Major PV Demonstration programmes, which will end in March 2006. Potential community beneficiaries for the new scheme include schools, leisure centres or even remote villages that are not connected to the grid. Other projects could include housing estates or business parks. The focus on larger developments is designed to engage the construction sector more widely and help push micro-generation products towards commercial viability.

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