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Report calls for action to tackle property performance in Manchester

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Council-backed group blames lack of funding and leadership for lack of action on carbon emissions

Lack of funding and leadership on sustainability initiatives means commercial buildings in Manchester are failing to reduce carbon emissions, a report has claimed.

A Manchester Council-backed group climate change steering group has warned that lack of sustainability training, little funding for retrofitting and a lack of energy management systems in buildings are stifling progress in reducing emissions.

The group asked representatives from the property and building services industries which factors they felt were holding back efforts to cut carbon.

Poor relationships between tenants and landlords, and confusion over who carries the cost and benefit of carbon reduction, was another key factor.

Suggestions to improve efforts to cut carbon included creating a greater incentive for carbon reduction through the planning system and the creation of a public register of buildings’ energy performance.

Hopes were also expressed that the government’s Green Deal may help reduce carbon emissions. However, doubts have been expressed elsewhere about the scheme’s suitability for commercial buildings.

Steve Connor, chair of the steering group, said: “When it comes to the bulk of our public and commercial buildings, 80% of which will be standing in 2050, we still haven’t seen enough progress.

“In fact, if we don’t pull our fingers out, we could see CO2 from this sector go up, rather than down. It’s time for action.”

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