Retrofitting homes and switching to renewables would make a major contribution towards achieving net zero, according to Andree Frieze, Green Councillor for Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside.
With domestic housing accounting for around 20 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions, Frieze believes that in order to achieve net zero ‘we need to switch all energy and heating to clean fuels, plus poorly insulated homes must be retrofitted with insulation to waste less energy and cut energy costs.
Green Party policy includes a deep nationwide retrofitting of 10 million homes by 2030, on top of the insulation improvements for every home that needs it, in the process creating jobs and reducing fuel poverty for millions of people.
In contrast, the current Government isn’t taking the challenge it faces seriously: its much-publicised green homes grant scheme has fallen short, it’s failing to meet its manifesto commitments, and meanwhile, Frieze stresses, ‘the Government continues to invest in fossil fuel extraction.’ In March 2021 it announced new licences for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.
Despite the lack of government support, some parts of London are making progress. Transport for London, for example, is planning for all of its electricity supply to be renewable by 2030, after pressure from Green Party Assembly Member Caroline Russell.
‘In the long term,’ says Frieze, ‘retrofitting homes and switching them to renewables will cost less than not doing it and letting London and the rest of the country face the toll of the climate emergency.’