On the hottest day ever, Herts Conservatives have voted down a Liberal Democrat proposal to require the lowest carbon emissions from new homes built on land that the council sells. Lib Dem County Councillors had proposed that, where government rules allow, the council should insist on new homes being built to the internationally recognised "Passivhaus" standard to cut carbon emissions in response to the climate emergency.
Lib Dem Environment spokesperson County Councillor Steve Jarvis said, "Thousands of houses are likely to be built over the next few years on land that Herts County Council owns. If they are built to current standards this will result in more than ten thousand tonnes of extra CO2 emissions every year. It is vital that they are built to standards that prevent this happening. Not only would it help deal with the climate emergency but it would cut the energy bills of people who will live in these houses.
"Unfortunately the Conservatives argued that doing this by building homes to a recognised low carbon standard would be "too restrictive". They also said that it might mean that developers paid the council less money for the sites, which I suspect is the real reason. What they are ignoring is that if temperatures of 40 degrees become the norm the council will find itself spending far more on caring for vulnerable adults, repairing melting roads and expanding the fire service to cope."
"The County Council needs to show that it is serious about dealing with the climate emergency that we have all seen evidence of this week. Coming up with poor excuses for not taking actions within its power is not the way to do this."