07 Dec 2007 04:12:45
Greener buildings 'simple to introduce'
Constructing environmentally-friendly new buildings and making existing properties more energy efficient could greatly reduce carbon emissions with minimal effort, a United Nations (UN) expert has claimed.
The means already exist to integrate energy-saving changes into both residential and commercial property without the use of advanced technology, explained Sylvie Lemmet, director of the UN's Environment Programme's division of technology, industry and economics.
But she warned that both the building industry and governments around the world are not doing enough to promote measures such as greener lighter, heating and improved insulation.
"The entire current emission reductions commitment under the Kyoto Protocol can be achieved in the building sector alone. And the costs of achieving these reductions are low, very low," she told Reuters.
"You'd believe everyone would be rushing towards reducing emissions from the building and construction sectors and that governments are actively supporting the sector to realise this potential," she added. "This is not really happening and in most countries nothing is happening."
Earlier this year the UK government announced that by 2016 it wants all new homes to be built to zero carbon standards.