Cambridgeshire campaigners call for “bold” action to reduce carbon emissions

Michael Monk, chirman of the Cambridgeshire CPRE

Michael Monk, chirman of the Cambridgeshire CPRE - Credit: Archant

The Cambridgeshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says there will have to be a massive reduction in energy usage to avoid inflicting widespread damage to the countryside.

A report published by the CPRE, entitled Warm and Green, claims energy efficiency has been “grossly underplayed” in Government policy and also says it is increasingly important in rural areas of Cambridgeshire.

The report, put together by Cambridge Architectural Research and Anglia Ruskin University, highlights the potentially impact of infrastructure on the countryside if old and new homes remain energy inefficient.

Cambridgeshire CPRE Chairman Michael Monk, said: “The research shows that 18 per cent of the population live in rural areas, but those areas receive less than 1 per cent of funding for energy efficiency improvements,”

“While all English communities have faced dramatically increasing energy costs since 2003, rural communities contend with comparatively lower home energy efficiency and higher energy costs.”

Mr Monk and the CPRE are calling for a “bold national programme” to reduce energy and carbon emissions from homes and community buildings, the implementation of stronger zero carbon standards for new homes and for rural communities to receive a fairer share of funding for energy efficiency.

Nick Clack, CPRE energy campaigner, added: “Our research intensifies calls for the new Government to implement a much bolder national programme to reduce energy and carbon emissions from homes if we are to get anywhere near the 80 per cent emissions cuts required under the Climate Change Act.

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“Unless there is effective Government support for this work, we risk seeing large areas of the countryside lost to avoidable new energy infrastructure and even higher energy bills.”