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UK government urged to make energy efficiency an infrastructure priority

UK government urged to make energy efficiency an infrastructure priority

The UK government has been urged to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority in a report by the influential Aldersgate Group.

In the report the organisation, which includes leaders from business, politics and civil society, asked contributors from inside and outside its membership to discuss the low carbon priorities for the new government.

Members of the Aldersgate Group include Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, former deputy prime minster Lord Prescott, Sky, WWF and Siemens.

The report concluded that there should be three areas of focus for the Conservative government: improving post-2020 policy clarity, making the Paris climate negotiations a “diplomatic priority” and making energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority.

“The recommendations that business, academic and civil society leaders have set out in this report will help the UK meet its emission targets on time, on budget and in a way that’s economically beneficial,” said Nick Molho, executive director of the Aldersgate Group. “We urge the government to take note of them and put forward stable policies for the decade ahead,” he added.

The Aldersgate Group called for the priority status to be backed by “clear government co-ordination, infrastructure funds and policies tailored to different categories of energy efficiency measures, including commercial energy efficiency”.

Last month the Scottish government revealed plans to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure plan and a UK-wide priority has long been targeted by the UK Green Building Council.

“This report demonstrates the breadth of support – across business, academia and civil society – for an urgent and well-overdue national energy efficiency programme, to transform our inefficient homes and buildings,” said John Alker, director of policy and communications, UK Green Building Council.

“Government faces a number of key decisions on major infrastructure projects, but none deliver the same package of benefits as energy efficiency, which should be considered a national infrastructure priority. It is the original economic no-brainer – bringing down energy costs for households and businesses, stimulating economic growth and improving the UK’s energy security, he added.”

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Members of the Aldersgate Group include Caroline Lucas, Lord Prescott, Sky, WWF and Siemens. Image credit: Flickr/Michael Smith.

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