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Carbon emissions in context

The UK has some of the oldest building stock in Europe and of this, around 28 million buildings will still be in use in 2050. In 2009, the UK’s total carbon emissions output was approximately 520m tonnes, of which buildings created around 45%.

It is estimated that the 2 million non-domestic buildings in the UK account for approximately 17% or 88 million tonnes of this total and 60% of these buildings will still be in use in 2050. – The economic benefit alone of reducing the bulk of these emissions has been valued at £4.5 billion (by 2020) through research carried out by the Carbon Trust, showing a real financial incentive to sustainably retrofit.

Bound by International agreements, the UK has put in place several legislative directives to help achieve the objective of reducing carbon emissions of 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, as compared to 1990 levels.

This legislation includes the Climate Change Act 2008, revisions to Building Regulations such as Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) 2010, initiatives such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme and the Green Deal.

The Government has also introduced schemes such as the Feed-in-tariff (FiT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to promote the use and development of wind, solar energy, bio fuels and geo-thermal heat sources.
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