Taylor Wimpey, one of the UK’s biggest housebuilders, opposed government plans to slash carbon dioxide emissions from new homes by at least three-quarters and argued against heat pumps, which are proposed as a replacement for gas boilers, one of the UK’s biggest causes of greenhouse gases. The company, which typically builds about 15,000 new homes a year, told a consultation that a target of cutting CO2 emissions from new homes by 75% to 80% from 2025 was “too high” and argued that heat pumps would be too expensive and would disappoint customers with their performance. Its position was revealed through a freedom of information request by Unearthed, the investigations arm of the environmental charity Greenpeace. Housing accounts for 15% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and that does not include electricity produced in power stations. Natural gas burned for heating and cooking is the main contributor. It placed Taylor Wimpey in a small minority of only 2% of such responses to the government consultation into its future homes standard. The majority said the target was not ambitious enough. Barratt, Berkeley and Thakeham homes all supported the target, as did the Home Builders Federation, which represents housebuilders, according to the response released under environmental transparency laws. Greenpeace claimed it showed the housebuilder tried to derail an important climate policy, but Taylor Wimpey strongly denied this and said it was identifying challenges about the practical implementation of the cuts.
Guardian 5th July 2021 read more »