CIBSE declares opposition to trading carbon emissions
CIBSE has urged DEFRA to remain focused on the technical aspects of reducing carbon emissions rather than moving the emphasis onto a form of emissions-trading scheme ‘cap and trade’. Such an approach, believes CIBSE, would move the responsibility of reducing carbon emissions away from building managers to financial managers, so placing too much emphasis on financial, not carbon, savings. Bryan Franklin, chairman of the CIBSE policy committee, says, ‘Whilst there is a solid business case for reducing emission, it is important to keep the responsibility with the engineers, facilities and energy managers. The CIBSE 100 days of carbon clean-up campaign last year demonstrated the ability that these professionals have, not just to reduce energy usage but to influence the decision makers.’ CIBSE supports the wider implementation of the mandatory benchmarks in public buildings being developed by DCLG and believes an additional system would create confusion and an administrative burden on organisations affected by it. ‘With DCLG poised to consult on wider requirements for public display of energy-performance certificates, surely this is the way to go,’ says Bryan Franklin. ‘The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is not done and dusted. Further developments of the directive are due in 2009, which are likely to affect smaller buildings outside the public sector.’ CIBSE believes that streamlining legislation rather than fragmenting it is essential to meeting targets on emission reductions. ‘If we do this, we can ensure UK compliance with the directive to make UK buildings leaders in low-carbon operation in Europe,’ concludes Bryan Franklin.