Having a warm comfortable home is central to our health and wellbeing. Low and zero carbon homes, whether new builds or retrofitted, may bring even greater health, wellbeing, and financial benefits to occupants. Yet, creating low carbon homes may also have wider benefits to the local community, economy, and infrastructure. The Healthy Living in Low Carbon homes team is exploring these wider societal impacts.
In 2019, the UK became one of the first advanced economies to pass legislation to target net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. However, the country is projected to just meet its fourth and fifth carbon reduction targets due largely to the interruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. So, if we are truly going to achieve net zero, what needs to happen?
The current transition towards a low-carbon economy is making progress, with the UK’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd carbon budget targets having been met or projected to do so. However, meeting the 4th and 5th carbon budget targets is already far from plan and the milestones are unlikely to be met unless we can overcome the challenge of decarbonising the heating our existing domestic building stock.