One of the UK’s biggest unions has called on ministers to ignore a call by its statutory climate advisor to ban gas boilers in new homes from 2025.
The GMB has said it will write to minsters urging them to ignore the Committee on Climate Change’s [CCC’s] recommendation that new homes should no longer be connected to the gas grid from the middle of this decade.
The CCC has recommended the move as part of a package of measures to cut emissions from the housing stock, which accounts for one-seventh of the UK’s total, to zero.
But the GMB says that scrapping gas central heating in new-build properties, which according to the union threatens to result in ‘real damage’ to the UK’s climate change debate, can only be done after extensive democratic debate and votes in Parliament,
Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer, called on the government to take control of the decarbonisation agenda.
“The way the Committee for Climate Change has put forward its recommendations is totally unacceptable.
“There has been no democratic discussion or input from the UK electorate into what is a huge challenge facing our country.
“The way the continued decarbonisation of the UK economy should happen has to change fundamentally if the UK is going to up its game to meet our commitments under the Paris Treaty.
“The voting public has to be involved in the economic issues that link directly to the political decisions on how decarbonisation of our economy is to proceed.
“We need to evolve to a future where we have reliable, reasonably priced, ultra-low or zero carbon energy sources with subsidies to be paid to investors to achieve this transition coming from general taxation,” he said, adding that gas is needed as a ‘stepping stone fuel’ to meet carbon emissions reduction targets for the foreseeable future as well as to provide central heating and cooking.
“Economic issues involved in political decisions have to be made explicit and final decisions should only be made after thorough democratic debate and decisions made in Parliament. These are not decisions that can be made by technocratic committees.
“The Government should ignore this recommendation as it does real harm to the decarbonisation debate.”